This Manufacturer uses Street View to Give Customers a Virtual View into Advanced Capabilities

Sentry Equipment Corporation
Recently I had the opportunity to create a Street View virtual tour of Sentry Equipment Corp in Oconomowoc. This forward-thinking manufacturer is not only employee-owned and was awarded a top workplace 7 years running, their beautiful facility is organized, clean, safe and sustainably designed. A perfect subject to show off on Google Street View.

By hiring me to create their Street View virtual tour, Sentry Equipment Corp now has the capability to show potential customers a high resolution, interactive walkthrough of their facility, without the need for the customer to travel. Sentry Equipment Corp can even share specific areas of the tour – or highlight a specific piece of equipment – by sending an easily-sharable short link that directs the customer to the exact view that the company wants them to see.

In a blog post on the Sentry website, Rick Steinke, Vice President of Operations, explained the benefits that this virtual tour delivers for their operations.

The virtual tour is an exceptional way for out-of-state or overseas customers to see our manufacturing facility and its capabilities. – Rick Steinke, Vice President of Operations

Sentry Equipment Corp also created a dedicated page on their website to present the virtual tour to website visitors. Since Street View works across all platforms, devices and browsers, the company can be sure that their visitors are able to make full use of the virtual tour.

I shot the facility on a Friday in October, after the majority of employee-owners had finished work for the week. Photography was completed in about an hour and half, with dozens of High Dynamic Range photos captured to give visitors a full walkthrough of the plant. Working with the Sentry Marketing team, I ensured that the photography captured high-quality views of certain areas, specific machinery, and ready-to-ship products that were critical to highlight.

Once the individual RAW images were captured, I stitched them into 360 degree “equirectangular” images using professional panoramic imaging software. Then, using 20+ years of photography and digital imaging experience, I processed the images to deliver the best possible representation of the facility. The final images were then uploaded to Google’s servers and I began the work of building the virtual tour in 3D space on Google Maps. All in all, I was able to complete the tour quickly, delivering the published tour only 4 days later.

After nearly 2 years as a Street View | Trusted Photographer, I’ve enjoyed creating extremely useful and highly affordable virtual tours for over 100 forward-thinking Wisconsin businesses. I continue to improve my process and skills to quickly and effectively deliver tours, and help my clients improve their online presence and build their businesses. Contact me soon if you would like to discuss how Street View can increase your visibility online.

Take a look at the Sentry Equipment Corp Street View tour below, and CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT STREET VIEW FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

Google Street View

For the past 7 months or so, I’ve been enjoying a gig that combines two of my favorite things: Photography and small businesses.

As a Google Trusted Photographer, I create really cool virtual tours for local businesses. Street View tours not only make a business look GREAT, they improve search results by adding a “See Inside” button, which also shows up on Google Maps and on their Google Places page. It’s easy to embed the tour on a website or share it on social media. Check it out, here’s the resurrected Pizza Man (the retractable roof on the second floor is a must see – just head for the stairs):

The process is simple: I come in with my camera on a tripod, set it up at various locations to create a logical walkthrough of the space, and shoot high resolution images at each location. After the shoot, I use software to stitch the images together into insanely high resolution “equirectangular” images and import them into Google’s proprietary software. There, the flat images are wrapped in 3D space into spherical images, and I then arrange them in the proper position and orientation over a satellite view of the business. Once completed and published, a business’ Street View tour is available online and hosted by Google for as long as they’re in business.

Street View has proven to be a great way for Rose’s Flower Shop in Wauwatosa to show off their beautiful gallery:

…and and a fun way for Door County visitors to recall their trip to Al Johnson’s – goats and all:

Know any business owners who might be interested in Street View? Please share! For more information and a quote, click here.

Welcome to Signal Path

Signal Path

I’m proud to announce the launch of signalpathcreative.com. Welcome — have a look around.  Any questions? Please Ask!

The idea, and name, of Signal Path comes from the world of music recording.  The signal path is everything that happens to the “dry” signal (the original performance that is recorded) before it is committed to tape.  A master recording engineer uses skill and art along the signal path to create a recording enhances the performance.  The goal of Signal Path is to take your original idea — your voice — and enhance it using the tools, skills and experience that I have gained in my 12 years working in design and development, resulting in a product that brings your idea to life at the highest possible level.

Vaccuum Tube

The process is simple and proven, and focused on the customer. It reminds me of a simple tool, the vacuum tube.  There are shortcuts and newer ways to make noise, but you will lose authenticity and connection to your audience.  By understanding your customer, and placing their needs at the start of the design process, you ensure that your product will connect.  It’s about connecting, and shortcuts won’t get you there.

Thanks for taking the time to visit!

-Brad