A veterinary practice in Chester has become one of the first in the UK to allow prospective clients to take a “virtual tour” of its premises using Google Street View.

A veterinary practice in Chester is one of the first in the UK to use a new service that allows website visitors to take a virtual tour of the clinic’s premises using Google Street View.

A consultation room at The Storrar Practice, as seen via Google Street View.The feature allows web users to navigate a virtual version of The Storrar Practice, made up of panoramic images taken by one of Google’s trusted photographers.

The virtual tour is available to view on the practice’s website, as well as via Google Street View itself.

Street View started as an addition to Google Maps that allowed people to navigate streets at ground level. Until recently the service was limited to the roads, but Google is now taking cameras off the street and into buildings.

Google Street View pegmanJames Storrar, head of the family run practice, said: “We were a little unsure to begin with as we didn’t know how well it would work inside but we are extremely pleased with the result. The images are fantastic and it offers potential customers a great way to see the practice using controls that are already familiar to them.”

The new service was announced in 2011 and, at the time of writing, is still in the process of being rolled out. The network of photographers are self employed and will charge a fee for the service.

Veterinary website design and online marketing consultant David Ross believes this could become a valuable tool for veterinary practices. “Vets have been battling with the issue of helping customers understand what goes into caring for their pets for a while now and this is a great way to offer them a behind the scenes look,” he said.

“There are restrictions to the service – including making customers aware that the photos will be being taken (although their faces will be blurred) and the images taken will remain the copyright of Google – but it is highly likely we will start to see more practices taking up this opportunity.”

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If you click on the tour you can use your mouse keys to move around the practice.

All images © 2012 Google
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