Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Virtual Fiddlehead 2.0

Eric Wood, Google-certified photographer at www.ercwd.com

BENNINGTON -- Fiddlehead at Four Corners art gallery became the first business in Bennington to be "Street Viewed" from the inside, thanks to Eric Wood and Google.

Eleven days ago Art Gallery Dude explained (HERE) how Wood shot 180 photos from 12 locations inside the old marble bank turned art gallery and fed them to Google's super-secret machine that stitches the images into a 360-degree virtual tour -- hence the Street View.

"You can navigate the store," Wood said this morning, "just like if you were walking inside it. ... from any computer in the world, or mobile device."

Think of it another way: Bennington is, by and large, a tourist town, so having an inside Street View helps web-savvy business owner give potential visitors an idea of what they might see simply by posting links of the tour on Twitter, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Yelp and scores of other social media sites that people use while planning trips. 


Or, folks in Bennington who have never been in the gallery might want to give it a virtual whirl before stopping in.

Indeed, Street Viewing a business is fun, Wood said in a video (HERE), but "it doesn't take the place of coming in in person" -- and especially when it's a building as sweet at Fiddlehead at Four Corners.

Wood is Vermont's only Google-certified photographer, having completed training, exams and a probation period. The married father of one hopes Bennington businesses hop aboard the Street View Virtual Train to advertise. The economic benefits go without saying -- the service costs about the same as a newspaper or radio ad and stays on the Internet forever.

Plus, Google provides a link (to tweet or post on Facebook, Google+ or Pinterest, etc) and an embed code that is compatible with many business websites. Check out what Fiddlehead's website (www.getartbehappy.com) looks like with its virtual tour HERE.

Below is Google's Street View tour inside Fiddlehead at Four Corners. If you like it and want it for your business call Eric Wood at (518) 302-1690 or email eric@ercwd.com.





BTW, Wood also gave Fiddlehead 18 "extra" photos to keep and use as it pleases.