On Friday the 23rd of January 2015 Google held their Annual Google Maps Business View Awards of 2014 to congratulate the Google Approved Photographers, agencies and companies that work directly with Google as partners.
Chameleon Web Services won the award for the “Most Creative Use of Maps API”, which is a fantastic achievement for everyone involved within Chameleon.
This award was for the work that we carried out for the Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club creating a visually stunning website with a full stadium tour. This work raised Google Maps to new limits and impressed the search engine giant with its size (over 700 individual panoramic views) and complexity. Chameleons new innovation for integrating multiple tours within one interface allowed the ability to flow between specific locations quickly making the user experience much better than Google had envisaged.
We travelled to Googles European Engineering Centre in Zurich, Switzerland compliments of Google to collect the award and had the pleasure of meeting Google staff members and other Google partners that had also won awards in various other categories.
The ceremony was hosted by Google staff from all over the globe who linked celebration’s for specific achievements by companies working with Google Business View.
Our award was for the "Most Creative use of Maps API"
Winning A Global Google Award For Google Maps
This fantastic award was won due to way that Chameleon Web Services were able to create a usable interface to show the entire football stadium within a website, providing a simple way to navigate around the entire 360 tour.
The Google street view systems allow photographs to be published to the internet into Google Maps. To navigate around you must click to walk around, and to go from one end of a football stadium to another would be frustrating and clunky.
We took the photographs within Googles system and then created a way to embed the tour into the full website. By working with TourDash we overlaid a menu structure on top of the Google Maps photography.
The term API is an acronym, and it stands for “Application Programming Interface.” and Google provides an API to allow developers to use Google Maps data. This then allows developers to provide their own data using this API to get the results they need.
For example, if you’ve ever seen a Google Maps object embedded on a website, that website is using the Google Maps API to embed that map. Google exposes APIs like this to web developers, who can then use the APIs to drop complex objects directly onto a website.
What Chameleon did to win the award for the “Most Creative Use of Maps API” was to provide a way to use the Google Maps API, TourDash API and the Wolverhampton Wanderers website, bringing them all together in a clean and simple user interface which allowed the full stadium to be navigated.
Whilst at Google we had the pleasure of taking a good look around the headquarters which was simply amazing. We really admired the ethos that they follow regarding work life balance. The office environment was fun, relaxing and professional. This is something that all technical companies with professional coding guru’s need to follow.
It is clear that the people working for Google are extremely motivated and full of energy which allows them to create fantastic ideas. Google even have a 20% development room where you can take yourself away from work to develop new ideas during the day.
My favourite room had to be the aquarium where you could switch off and take a power nap with the tranquil sounds of nature. All around you was beautiful tropical and Malawi fish tanks integrated into the walls.
Playing Pool at Google Reception.
Google branding on the most adorable muffins.
The Google Meeting Rooms looked funky and fun and then add the slide into the Canteen - yes we had a go!
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