As noted by Lani Rosales at Agent Genius blog, Google’s Street View feature now comes with interior photos of some commercial real estate properties in some major markets. Alternately referred to in materials
“kicking off by photographing interiors of the types of businesses that we know are searched for most regularly. The types of businesses we’re currently interested in are restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and other storefront businesses. We’re always open to new ideas, so please let us know if you have a great idea for a kind of business that our users would love to see. We’re currently not photographing legal, medical, or chain establishments.”
According to Google’s FAQ, business anywhere in the world can apply for a photo shoot, so the photo program doesn’t appear to be one similar to the one where drove a Google camera car down (seemingly) every paved road in the world, aiming to capture all locations under the sun. Surely many people wondered what Google thought it was doing. Now that Google Maps is in such wide use, no such wondering is going on now.
But it takes nearly no imagination to consider the ramifications of Google Places for commercial real estate. Virtual showing tools are growing in number and databases are bulging with RE business information. If it turned out that Google was the first to put it all together, would anybody be surprised?