Yorkdale: Canada’s first mall to feature Google ‘walk-through’

Date:

Share post:

Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre is the first mall in Canada to feature a Google ‘walk-through’ on Google Maps/GPS, where viewers can take a virtual stroll through the interior of the mall on desktops, tablets and smartphones. It went live November 4th, 2013 and was developed by Wisdek Online Marketing via Google Business Photos. Wisdek plans to roll-out this feature in about 40 Canadian malls over the course of 2014.

We interviewed Wisdek representative Courtney Dale, who explained the process as well as the concept. A fish-eye camera is used to take a series of 360-degree photos (214 panos for Yorkdale, to be exact). These photos are combined to create an interactive ‘walk-through’ experience where viewers can move frame-by-frame through the mall as if they were actually there. The virtual tours are designed to replicate what a tour of the mall would be like on foot. Floor maps allow visitors to look at a multi-layer blueprint of the mall and navigate using GPS. Zooming in on the floor map takes them to the more detailed virtual tour. Wisdek was the first Canadian agency to combine indoor floor maps technology with Google Business Photos, and Yorkdale was its first project. Wisdek was also the first business in Canada to become a Google Certified Business Photos Agency, in addition to being a Google Partner for online advertising.

According to Wisdek, this concept can further improve search engine rankings when a business actively develops its Google+ profile (which is where you will find the tour). It also increases website visitation by bringing internet traffic from Google Maps as well as from Google Streetview. It may ultimately generate more walk-in traffic for businesses and can facilitate more online reviews for those companies featured.

Wisdek is also looking to photograph 360 degree store interiors inside Yorkdale and may even start coordinating walk-throughs of larger stores, including department stores. This could be a brilliant way for Hudson’s Bay, for example, to promote its Toronto flagship, not to mention allow the viewer to learn the store’s layout before entering to make purchases.

You can take a virtual tour of Yorkdale Shopping Centre at http://goo.gl/maps/3QWN9

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More From The Author

RECENT RETAIL INSIDER VIDEOS

Advertisment

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Subscribe

* indicates required

Related articles

Flexible Work Company ‘LAUFT’ Discusses Expansion Plans and New Government Collaboration [Interview]

Founder Graham Wong discusses the Canadian company's plans for new locations, enhanced spaces for events and content creation, and a future in places such as airports and hotels.

Ice Bath Spa Concept ‘Othership’ Opens 2nd Toronto Location with Expansion Plans for Major Markets in Canada and NYC [Interview]

The company's co-founder discusses the concept that began in his back yard in 2019, which is now a big business with a new Yorkville location and plans for Manhattan and other urban centres.

Anatomy of a Leader: Peter Mammas, President and CEO, Foodtastic

The man behind the food empire got started in Montreal where he wanted to be a pilot, then an architect. He eventually worked his way up in the world of foodservice, where he found his passion.

Nostalgia vs Reality: Exclusive Poll Shows Canadians Warm to Zellers’ Return but Hesitate to Shop One Year After Relaunch

Zellers relaunched a year ago as shop-in-stores at Hudson's Bay, and a poll done for Retail Insider shows that Canadians' think the current offerings fall short.

Cracking the Newcomer Code: Study Urges Canadian Retailers to Adapt for Inclusivity as Immigrants Reshape Retail Trends [Feature]

Making newcomers feel at home could mean increased sales for retailers. Ian Large of Leger says retailers should collaborate with communities as Canada's population changes.

Italian-Themed QSR Chain Fazoli’s Announces Major Expansion into Canada with 25 Locations Planned [Interview]

The chain could open even more locations according to its development officer, who discusses Fazoli's success being rooted in quality ingredients and speedy service.

Toronto-Based Fashion Designer Adam X Discusses Inspiration, Retail and Designing for the Future [Video Interview]

Craig and Adam X discuss the the founding and ethos of Adam X Atelier, a Toronto-based haute couture fashion brand which is rare to find in Canada.

Swatch Opens Flagship Store in Downtown Vancouver as it Expands Across Canada [Photos]

It's the 12th store in Canada for the popular Swiss watch brand, which almost doubled its store count in this country in less than a year.

Economic Strains Dampen Montréal’s Retail Growth, But Luxury and Transit Projects Could Spark Revival: JLL Report

Montreal retail has struggled recently and leasing activity has been particularly slow downtown, while a new luxury mall and a growing transit network could help things this year.

IKEA Canada Launches ‘Second-Hand Tax’ Initiative in Protest of Government Policies [Interview]

Ikea dropped the tax on its 'as-is' marketplace, stating that second-hand goods should not be subject to the same taxes as new products.

Significant Variances in Food Price Changes Not Reflected in Statistics Canada Numbers [Op-Ed]

Sylvain Charlebois says that StatCan numbers on food inflation do not reflect the reality of what consumers are seeing at the grocery store.

US-Based Women’s Fashion Brand Windsor Announces First 5 Canadian Stores, Plans National Expansion [Interviews]

The fashion brand is expected to be a runaway success in Canada, with an existing customer base and a void in the market.