by Rachelle Toh
Singapore is the second country in Asia to adopt Google Business Photos, an indoor version of Google’s Street View project which provides a 360-degree view of various places.
Since January, technology firm Smap Agency has been certified to create the virtual maps. Currently, maps of about 400 businesses and heritage sites in Singapore have been put up.
These virtual tours are meant to change the way people shop in real life. For example, diners can peek into F&B outlets to check out their ambiance before deciding where to go for meals.
But what about other types of businesses? Shoppers for consumer goods – from fashion to electronic devices – may find little use for these tours. Especially when you probably can’t even see the products, much less buy them.
Wouldn’t a virtual tour be more relevant to heritage sites than businesses in general anyway?
ST reported that virtual tours of some heritage sites such as the Tiong Bahru air raid shelters and Thieves’ Market in Sungei Road are already available. Others include the Army Market in Beach Road and even the dragon playground in Toa Payoh. Hopefully, tours will soon be produced for all of Singapore’s heritage sites.
More than merely looking around our shopping malls (which will always be around), virtual tours of our heritage sites would help to preserve them.
They may not be as good as the real deal, but it would make them more accessible to everyone – especially the disappearing ones.