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Google is innovating again, this time by introducing a new way for businesses of all shapes and sizes to raise their profile and connect with consumers on the web. Called Google Business View, the technology brings a business to life with a high quality, 360 degree, interactive virtual tour that lets consumers experience and explore panoramic views of retail shops, restaurants, clubs, galleries, event spaces, gyms, services, and facilities of all kinds. The virtual tour appears on the businesses’ website, and – here is the kicker – is  visible on Google Search results, Google Maps, and Google+. The images can also be used for various other advertising and marketing purposes.

The prime movers of Google Business View are a small and select cadre of photographers – dubbed Google Trusted Photographers – who are stringently trained to take high-quality photographs of interiors and facilities, and certified to access the Google technology and know-how that turns the pictures into a dramatic panoramic interactive showcase for potential customers. It is their expertise, combined with Google’s power, that can make companies standout.

Recently, I had a chance to speak with a prolific and successful Google Trusted Photographer, Jeffrey Rosenberg, who has brought Google Business View to several businesses on the North Shore of Long Island, New York. His recent photographic shoots have run the gamut from large and extensive venues — such as a renowned golf club and a venerable catering hall — to more contained locations including a dental office, an eyeglass store, and a hair salon.

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For every two graphic designers, it seems,  there are three opinions. I’ve been studying answers to questions we pose each year to our People To Watch and Students To Watch — favorite book, fine artist, music, website, etc. — to mine for clues as to what you all are thinking, feeling, planning, doing. As usual, it is largely a fruitless and patternless task. For example, the 2014 design students cumulatively listed 55 favorite bands; not one single musician is mentioned twice. Another example: this year’s group of working designers mentioned 51 fine artists, with no overlap but for two mentions of Miro and Picasso.

Nonetheless, I did manage to find a couple of points of consensus. One relates to favorite gadgets: the Apple “i’s”, as in iPhone, iPad, iPod, are popular. Yawn.

Movies turned out to present a more intriguing accord. Among this year’s People To Watch cohort, Blade Runner is the clear favorite.

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What do you do when you’re tired of the prospect of dating? Two good friends with opposite relationship problems found themselves single at the same time. As an experiment, they dated for 40 days.

GDUSA named both Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman  as People to Watch in 2013. I guess we were right on the mark because now you can watch them for the next 40 days as they go through the motions of a relationship and hopefully overcome all the fears and inadequacies that go hand in hand with the New York City dating scene.

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While Netflix is usually my go to for a good watch (mostly because it’s cheap), I often struggle to find high quality films. Nevertheless, I’ve managed to dig up some real gems that shouldn’t be missed. Here are my top 10 picks that are sure to enhance your design i-queue.

 

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Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

This in-depth look at Milton Glaser,  just named the most influential graphic designer of the past half-century by GDUSA readers, is a must watch. This documentary explores Glaser’s prolific career which includes the famous “I Heart NY” campaign and his early days at New York magazine.

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