Google Street View to boost town’s profile

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Oamaru’s online presence is set to ramp up in a big way as Google’s streetview comes to local businesses.

Photographer Derek Golding is in the final stages of the process of becoming a trusted photographer for Google, which will allow virtual tours of local businesses to be posted online.

That would make him one of only two approved Google business photographers in the South Island, Mr Golding said.

The virtual business tours would be good for the town’s online presence as they would ensure people could see more of Oamaru online, which would promote the town and bring tourists here, he said.

“We want people to stop in Oamaru, we want people to explore Oamaru.”

The virtual business tours would have benefits for museums, art galleries and more, he said.

Eventually, he intended to make a full Oamaru-centric “streetview”, Mr Golding said.

The actual photo process only took about 10 minutes, with Mr Golding taking panoramic photos in the business, he said.

“I go down to a business and I’ll take the panoramas when I’m walking around the business.”

There were nine businesses locally that had the photos taken so far, he said.

By DAVID DE LOREAN