IN THE MEDIA

Google Street View goes inside new Shuttle Atlantis attraction

-Kennedy Space Center–

As you saw on News 13, we were one of the firsts to get our cameras inside the new Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction. But if you haven’t made it over there, you can tour it online — literally — from floor to ceiling.

“It’s a picture. It’s the greatest picture you’ll ever take,” smiled Jeremy Weinstein, CS3Design’s regional sales manager.

CS3Design is a Google-trusted company. Thanks to 2012 UCF grad Chris Sardinas’ 3D modeling skills, he is creating virtual tours for Google Maps.

“I knew he was working for Google, so I did a little research — I Googled Chris Sardinas!” said Weinstein before he took on the job. “Turns out, he’s got a key to the city of West Palm Beach for his work in his 3D modeling tour. He beat out a lot of people.”

We tagged along with Sardinas and his photographer at the Kennedy Space Visitor Complex this week. For two days, they snapped pictures from inside the Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction using a fisheye lens. The photographer would put the camera on a tripod, take 3 pictures facing north, then three pictures facing south, east, and west.

“It gets delivered to Google, [Google] uploads it, and next thing you know, if you search this place, it’ll be [active],” Weinstein explained. “You can navigate it and get your Avatar wings on.”

CS3Design is expecting to launch Shuttle Atlantis’ 360 tour by the first week in September. That means it should pop up in the Google search engine. Just click on the “See Inside” option.

The company already created 3D tours for a bunch of Florida restaurants, bike shops, gyms, tanning salons and other businesses. Take a look here and you’ll get an idea of what the Atlantis image will look like.

Getting this intimate with a business is meant to get your mouth watering, especially with attractions. So we had to know, what about Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld or Legoland? Will we get to see their attractions from the inside on Google?

CS3Design, tech firm behind Google Business Photos, expanding to Louisville

-Insider Louisville Article, 2/25/14

Location, location, location.

For as long as most can remember, these have been the first three rules of retail. But the times they are a-changin’.

Given the seismic shift in consumer behavior taking customers out of brick-and-mortar establishments and onto the web, this old business maxim needs to be re-applied to cyberspace.

In addition to traditional competition, off-line retail establishments are now fighting against the ubiquity of choice on the web. Even customers purchasing off-line are going online to figure out where to visit in person.

Survival of the fittest will depend on who is best able to blend an authentic off-line experience with a prominent online presence.

Enter the Google Business Photos service, available in the Louisville area since last October. The service is the latest extension of Google Earth, which was originally released in 2005.

Google Earth provided satellite imagery that allowed users to get a bird’s eye view of almost any place on the planet. From there, enterprising digital designers added three-dimensional models of individual buildings. Google Street View, which recreated sidewalk views using panoramic photography, was integrated into Google Earth in 2008.

Google Business Photos is the latest feature that now takes users off the sidewalks and into individual establishments – for a price. Unlike many Google services, this one is not free with prices determined by a combination of size and location.

Hesitant to walk into a dive bar you’ve never been to? Pull it up on Google Business Photos and see what it looks like before venturing in.

Wondering if a museum is worth the price of admission? Pull it up on Google Business Photos and take a quick tour before deciding to buy a ticket.

It’s a form of digital ice breaking.

Google Business Photos marketing collateral says, “Bring your business to life: create a 360-degree virtual tour…showcase the character and beauty of your business by allowing potential customers to walk around your business from the comfort of their home or mobile device.”

But the service provides more than just photos and a 360-degree tour.

“It’s not just a virtual tour,” said Chris Sardinas, founder and CEO of CS3Design, one of five Google Trusted Agencies around the U.S. approved to produce Google Business Photos. “It’s about increasing your online visibility. We’re not just going to go in there, film a video and wish you good luck.”

After producing the 360-degree virtual tour and a set of still photos covering the main points of interest within an establishment, the company then uploads them to each of the Google applications on the web: Google Search, Google+, Google Local, Google Maps and Google Places.

According to Sardinas, this increases search engine optimization by approximately 20 percent.

Sardinas is just the type of young entrepreneur we love to talk about here at Insider Louisville. Unfortunately for our fair city, his company is headquartered in Orlando. As a teenager growing up in South Florida, he became fascinated with Google Earth 3D modeling as a hobbyist and eventually became the single largest 3D model contributor to Google Earth.

Google noticed his work and invited him to participate in a worldwide 3D modeling competition. After finishing second, he knew he was on to something and realized he could make a career out of his hobby.

In 2007, CS3Design was born. By 2013, the company had a presence in 21 Florida cities, and Sardinas decided it was time to expand outside of the Sunshine State.

Not bad for a company run by a 24-year old CEO.

Google Business Photo service spreads to Valdosta

-VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) –

The next time you want to eat or stay in Valdosta, you may be able to view 3-D photos of the business you’re considering.

Today, photographers from a Florida company that partners with Google were in town.

Members of CS 3 Design spent the day taking panoramic photographs inside about two dozen businesses in Valdosta, including a hotel and restaurant.

“We actually bring our photographer group inside. They do a 360 degree virtual tour of the inside of the establishment,” explained Gary Hutchens, Owner of CS3 Design.

It’s part of a relatively new service called Google Business Photos. CS3 Design is based in Orlando and partners with Google, helping to spread the service nationwide.

“We’re bringing Google Business photos into Georgia, starting here in Valdosta,” Hutchens said. “Me being from Valdosta, that’s why we decided to basically march through Georgia, but startin’ South and headin’ North.”

Google Business Photos is like Google street View for the inside of businesses. Hutchens says it’s a perfect fit for our increasingly fast-paced society.

“At least 44 percent of people are makin’ their decisions where they’re gonna go, where they’re gonna eat, where they’re gonna shop, while on the way there,” Hutchens pointed out.

Once a business pays for the service, CS3 comes in and spends about 30 to 45 minutes creating a virtual tour of the business.

“We’ll take three North, three East, three South and three West and then we’ll stitch those 12 images together to make one sequence,” said one of the photographers for CS3 Design, as he prepared to photograph the inside of the Austin’s Cattle Company restaurant.

And that process is the same for any business, continuing until the entirety of the inside of the business has been photographed.

Hutchens says next, they plan to expand north through cities like Macon, Savannah, and Atlanta.

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