Google Virtual Area Guide of Cazenovia now live online

— People across the United States — and even the world — who may be curious about Cazenovia and wonder what the community looks like now can walk the streets in a virtual tour through the Google Sidewalk View / Virtual Area Guide of Cazenovia.

A Google Trusted Photographer team was in Cazenovia in late May to photograph streets, sidewalks and storefronts for Google Maps’ Street View and Virtual Area Guide applications. The team returned to Cazenovia two weeks later to photograph the inside of a number of local businesses on Albany Street, and they have received so much interest from local businesses that they are coming back to Cazenovia again on Monday, June 16, to photograph even more shops.

“We are excited that it holds the potential to increase business for participating businesses in Cazenovia,” said Google Trusted Photographer Jim Hilker, who, along with his son and partner Drew, visited Cazenovia on Wednesday, May 28.

The Hilkers have been photographing communities and colleges in New York state and central Pennsylvania for two years for inclusion on Google Street View, as well as a new Virtual Area Guide. This summer they will be working to photograph numerous communities in Central New York, which is what brought them to Cazenovia.

Google trusted photographers now use cars, trolleys, bicycles, snowmobiles, backpacks and cameras on tripods to capture the world and allow people online to see communities, world landmarks, natural wonders, museums, arenas, restaurants and small businesses as if they were standing right there. While in Cazenovia, the Hilkers photographed the interiors of Tizzy’s, Lincklaen House, Lillie Bean, Cazenovia Jewelry, Isabella and J.D. Hunter Home. Also included are Cazenovia College, the Cazenovia Post Office, Cazenovia Public Library, the Catherine Cummings Theatre and Lakeland Park.

All of these photos will ultimately be a part of a Google virtual tour of Cazenovia, which is part of Google’s new “Virtual Area Guides” of communities, a project the Internet company started this year.

“The whole purpose of this is to let people decide if they want to stop and open their wallets and spend money,” Hilker said. “We’ve been a lot of places. We’ve done well over 900 businesses in the last two years.”

To view the Cazenovia Google Sidewalk View / Virtual Area Guide, go to goo.gl/F7O5S8.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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