Fayetteville Now that the weather is getting nicer, a number of people are beginning to flock to Central New York to enjoy it – including representatives from Google.
Adam Hilker is a trusted Google photographer from Ithaca. His job is to visit villages, towns and cities in upstate New York and northern Pennsylvania, taking pictures of the sidewalks, storefronts, parks and the inside of businesses along the way.
“I get to see cool things, meet cool people and see the inside of some neat businesses,” said Hilker. “There is no typical workday and I like that. Every town is different, so my job is different every day.”
Contrary to popular belief, Hilker doesn’t actually work for Google. He has his own business, called Places Mobile, and he and his two coworkers are certified by Google to be part of the street view team. He, like the thousands of other Google trusted photographers, is a subcontractor, responsible for taking photos within a particular region of the world.
But don’t confuse his job with that of the Google Street View Car, which only photographs pictures from the streets, including residential neighborhoods. Hilker and his fellow coworkers are responsible for capturing the areas that the car cannot. And although photography is a skill necessary for success at his job, he said it’s just as much of a sales position.
“I actually don’t have a big photography background,” Hilker said, who’s been a subcontractor for Google since 2012. “I have more of a background in business than anything else. I applied for the job and had to take several tests to prove I could do it. Because we don’t get paid by Google, all of our profits come from businesses who want to be a part of the program.”
In 2012, Google introduced a feature for businesses within Google Maps which allows users to not only zoom in and see actual streets in the community, but to go a step further and “walk in” to businesses by being able to access a panoramic view inside the store.