May 2, 2014
Want an inside look at Hollywood without leaving your own home? Well, most people already know that Google street view can be a great tool for getting the lay of the land before you’ve actually landed. But now, Google has created “Indoor Maps,” available on Google Maps across all devices, which actually takes you to the interior of certain buildings!
While trying to locate a particular storefront on Google Maps recently, I was surprised to find myself staring at rows and rows of men’s suits, ties, shoes and hats. Unwittingly, I had “entered” Hollywood Suit Outlet, 6420 Hollywood Blvd., where I was able browse around almost as if I was actually in the store in person.
I yelled to my co-worker about this startling new discovery, so we started looking around and he realized that anywhere you see an orange circle on the regular overhead map view, you could drag the little man over top of it and “enter” the building (the same little man you would normally drag to a street in order to get a “street view”).
Playing around a bit further, I was able to enter the Hollywood YMCA, 1553 Schrader Blvd., where the tell-tale Christmas tree indicated this venture had been started several months ago. If I was in the market for a new gym, this could be very helpful, since I was able to explore the building and check out the various work out equipment and facilities available there.
On a related note, there is also something called “Business View,” where a business can submit a 360 degree panoramic shot of their interior. I explored Burger Factory, 6050 Hollywood Blvd.; Hollywood T-Shirts & Gifts, 6735 Hollywood Blvd., and Hollywood Nails, 6437 Sunset Blvd. (where yes, I have in fact gotten a mani/pedi before!)
I even felt a tinge of nostalgia when I entered the former site of Jan’s Hair Shop which used to be here on the ground floor of the Taft Building, 1680 N. Vine Street, where I used to get my haircut. Although Jan has since moved, and the space has now been renovated for a new business yet to move in, you can still enter the shop as it used to be, complete with Jan sitting in her barber chair!
If you’re a business and would like to participate in Business View, visit www.google.com/maps/about/partners/businessview to sign up. It’s evidently “simple, fast, and affordable.”
Devin Strecker serves as manager of communications and social media of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance. He previously spent eight years working for the nearby Hollywood Media District BID, starting out as an administrative assistant and working up to operations coordinator. He graduated from Fort Hays State University, near his hometown of Paradise, Kansas, with a degree in information networking and telecommunications, emphasis in media studies. He is a musician with his own band, Devin Tait and the Traitors.