Samoa Google Street View Content goes live
Google Street View is a component of the Destination Optimisation Programme the Samoa Tourism Authority (STA), with the assistance of the New Zealand Government through the Samoa Tourism Growth, implemented with the support of digital specialist Miles.
One of the biggest undertakings in this programme has been evaluating and updating Google's Street View imagery.
As Samoa had none prior to the project, there was a huge opportunity to introduce it and improve the perception, exposure and digital representation of Upolu and Savaii so people can get a real idea of the places they’re searching online.
The full capture of all sealed roads in Samoa was completed in June and content was processed and submitted to Google Maps.
The uploaded content is processed automatically to extract important data, including new roads, updated road names, business names and improved navigation and directions.
Capturing and uploading of additional 360 photospheres has continued, as have the updates by Google Maps (which users are able to see and use today).
Towards the end of September, images and newly captured 360’ photospheres uploaded to Google Maps have already gained over 1.4 million views (and counting).
Street View is important for its visual aspects - helping potential visitors (both international and domestic) to discover and understand the destination prior to their trip, but it also provides tremendous additional value.
Street View data is also extremely valuable to industry sectors and ministries apart from tourism and economic development.
Up-to-date imagery can be used for planning and assessment at the country and regional level including urban planning, road construction, infrastructure and land usage.
Emergency services and disaster planning can utilise Street View, and more accurate underlying maps data for planning, evaluation and recovery efforts.
As part of the Optimisation project, STA engaged tourism business operators to claim their listings on Google with the aim of improving the quality and accuracy of business listings and content available online.
In addition assistance under the project was mobilised to improve awareness and use of digital marketing tools by local businesses, and help them maximise their exposure, get bookings or reservations. This included surveys on digital capability, educational workshops and support including on a one-on-one basis as well as the Local Marketing Academy where businesses can track their progress through the content and earn “badges” for the quantity of content they read.
The extensive Street View Capture exercise covered the main roads visible on Google Maps for Upolu and Savaii.
While Image processing is still underway, towards the end of September, approximately 32,287 miles (or 51,960 kms) of Street View content has been uploaded.
Driving brand awareness is a key target for Samoa Tourism Authority and the optimisation programme significantly improves the quality of tourism business listings and Street View content on Google, the single largest travel planning platform in the world, with over 90% of travellers using it at some point in their trip-planning process. This paves the way for an enhanced visitor-experience.