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Google heads inside most-searched businesses

Google's going indoors – one of its latest features lets members of the public view the interiors of businesses found on Google Maps.

Shops in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Invercargill, Blenheim and Nelson, as well as Australia, Japan, the US, London and Paris, had the option of inviting Street View photographers inside to snap photos to enhance their listings.

The Google Art project took Street View technology inside 17 museums; this time, Google is targeting the most-searched businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, retailers and gyms.

Business owners can upload their own pictures or volunteer to have Google photographers take panoramic 360-degree images. Photographs including bystanders will be blurred out.

The pictures, however, will be owned by Google, who will have ultimate control over their use.

Google has also recently expanded its range of parks – a team equipped with the Street View trike travelled to 22 different countries this year, adding hundreds of new parks to the database.