It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Google just released Street View for Maui and Oahu! Okay, so maybe we weren’t all waiting for it, but it’s good news for the tourism industry as well as Maui residents.
In case you aren’t familiar with Google Street View, when you go to Google maps, which is much like Yahoo Maps and MapQuest, there is an option to see panoramic, interactive views at certain locations. Some areas are more thoroughly documented than others. In the case of San Jose, for example, it’s hard to find even the most obscure neighborhood cul-de-sac that doesn’t have street view. As far as Maui is concerned, there is still a lot of visual mapping to be done, but there is still more than enough to be helpful.
Maybe you’re wondering why we think Google Street View will be good for tourism. Well, people in general are growing increasingly clever and tech savvy. The most resourceful information seekers often use services for purposes that you wouldn’t expect. For example, a vacationer considering renting a Maui vacation rental home may enter its address into Google and look at the street view. Now the vacationer is not limited to a website’s photos of the vacation home. They can see for themselves what the surrounding area looks like and decide whether they like it or not. The very curious can take a visual tour of the island, or perhaps places they’ve heard about and would like to visit on their stay.
Photographs are usually taken with a particular goal in mind. The photographer is usually trying to demonstrate something, such as how lovely this restaurant looks, or how scenic this property is. Google Street View is as unbiased as they could possibly be. Want to see the Banyan Tree in Lahaina? You can take a virtual stroll down Front Street and get a feel for the look of the place. Just keep in mind that the experience is lacking in the fresh scent of the ocean and the balmy, tropical air.
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