Exploring Chilliwack businesses a new way

Chilliwack-based Google photographer Frank Engel is helping businesses broaden their reach through Business View.

Google photographer Frank Engel chats with Jayda Smith

Imagine walking into a store without physically walking in.

Sound confusing?

Not at all, says Chilliwack photographer Frank Engel.

Engel, owner of EdgeCreation, a local marketing business, is a “trusted” Google photographer.

It’s his job to make it possible.

Hired earlier this year by the online powerhouse for its new Business View application, Engel has been showing residents a new way of visiting their local shops – with online, interactive panoramas.

Basically, he’s bringing Google Street View inside.

“If you’ve ever seen the [online] virtual tours realtors use to sell and market their houses, this is similar,” says Engel.

Business View is a new Google app that’s an extension of Street View, showcasing the interiors of businesses with a full, 360 degree panoramic image. All customers have to do is locate the participating business on Google Maps, click the thumbnail picture, and voila, they’re inside.

It’s an open door into the business, says Engel.

It’s an interactive tool for potential customers to “walk through” a business, see the product, get a feel for what the store has to offer, before making the commitment to physically go to the store.

At all hours.

Over a two-hour period, Engel takes several still shots around a business making sure to get every angle imaginable, even some areas that others might have overlooked. Then, using the same technology used for Google Maps, he “stitches” the photos together to create a seamless panoramic image in which people can move from left to right, up and down, and zoom in and out with a click of their mouse.

Engel’s background was perfect for the position.

Formerly of Berlin, Germany, Engel holds a business management and marketing degree and has more than 15 years of marketing and sales experience, working for such heavy hitters as Canon, Volkswagen, Ironman, Cannondale and Sugoi.

And he has a passion for photography that likely stems from his father’s livelihood as a photojournalist. As a young boy, Engel held on to his father’s every word when it came to photography.

“I’m fascinated by how emotions and moments are captured in photos,” says Engel, who used to work part-time shooting sports for a German magazine.

When Engel and his wife moved to Canada five years ago, and subsequently started having a family, he decided to branch out on his own with EdgeCreation as a way of working a job he loves, while still having time at home with his three young children, all under the age of five.

Becoming a Google photographer was serendipitous.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” he smiles.

Googling various photography related searches, Engel landed on Google’s employment website.

It was the perfect fit, he says.

He was already doing most of the job requirements for his own business, but now he’d have the Google brand behind his name.

“Google is quality; it’s one of the strongest brands out there,” he says.

For Jayda Smith, sales and marketing manager at Anita’s Organic Mill, it was a no brainer to link up with Business View.

Even though Anita’s has been operating in Chilliwack for almost 25 years, many in the community still don’t know all that it has to offer.

“It’s unreal,” she says. “Customers can walk through our entire store and see everything, every product we have, clear and crisp, before actually coming here. It’s giving our customers the feeling they’ve already been to our store before even getting here.”

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Libraries call on reading buddies, dads to take part in literacy programs in Chilliwack

The annual Reading Buddies program and the brand-new Man in the Moon story time start this month

Westbound crash on Highway 1 in Langley causing extreme traffic delays

Collision occured just after Glover Road, cars backed up all the way to 264th Street

Chilliwack Chiefs blow out Prince George Spruce Kings in home opener

Ethan Bowen scored three goals as the Chiefs dumped their Mainland division rivals 6-2.

Missing Chilliwack 17-year-old last seen on August 20

RCMP asking public for help to find Lorenz Pentz

Blowback from the Trudeau in brownface debacle reaches Chilliwack

PM in questionable photos released in the middle of the federal election campaign had ripple effects

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Turbo and Lily at the Chilliwack SPCA

Say hello to Turbo and Lily, a pair of one-year-old dogs up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Surrey school district OKs students skipping class for global climate strike

Students must be excused from school by parents; will be able to make up missed work without penalty

Most Read