Chance to view inside businesses

Rob Helliwell of The Wheatsheaf Inn (left) and Hamish McDonald
Rob Helliwell of The Wheatsheaf Inn (left) and Hamish McDonald

Google has accredited a Haywards Heath photographer to produce virtual tours of the inside of business premises.

Hamish McDonald is one of only a very few photographers accredited by Google in the UK to offer the service called ‘Google Business Photos’.

Using the same technology as Google’s street view it does not stop at the front door of the business.

Now the viewer can continue into the business and browse around the premises seeing the inside in the exactly the same way as they did the outside.

Hamish said: “Business owners can now offer a much more engaging first impression to visitors to their website and show off the interior prior to any customer visit.

“It also enhances the Google search results, the current focus of which is delivering a more local bias.”

Specialist equipment is used by Hamish to create the tours and he had to be trained and certified by Google before he was authorised to provide the service.

A series of photographs are taken throughout the building and Hamish uses Google technology to create a virtual tour.

The tour is then made available on the search engine and can be used on the businesses own website.

One of the first to take advantage of the service is The Wheatsheaf Inn, in Cuckfield.

“When we heard that Hamish was offering this virtual tour and that it would be so tightly integrated in Google itself, the decision to go ahead straight away was obvious,” said Rob Helliwell, co-owner. “We are delighted with the tour Hamish has produced and we do believe that our customers, who maybe have not visited us before, will benefit from seeing our interior and getting a feel for the friendly ambiance we cultivate.”

Hunters Estates Agents, with offices in Haywards Heath and Burgess Hill, has also taken part.

Jon Clayson, director, said: “We are convinced that if we can get people to visit our offices and meet our team then they will learn about our passion and excellence.”

However, Hamish has also had interest from sports venues, motor dealerships and community centres, any building which welcomes the public through its doors.