Cougars Partner With Google For Virtual Tour Technology

Cougars believed to be the first Minor League team to incorporate Google's "Business Photos" technology

By Shawn Touney / Kane County Cougars | October 14, 2013 12:01 PM

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The Kane County Cougars, along with Google, have launched a new virtual tour that allows fans to open an expanded range of technology to get an inside look at Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Google's "Street View" technology, which allows users to see panoramic images of positions along streets throughout the world, debuted in 2007. In 2012, however, Google has expanded this concept by creating Google Business Photos, comprised of consecutive "Street View" photographs, thus giving the user a virtual walk-through tour of the inside of a business. Simply by clicking the navigational arrows within the tour, users can move from various locations within Fifth Third Bank Ballpark to get an up-close look at the Cougars' home.

The Cougars are believed to be the first team in Minor League Baseball to use Google's new business photos technology for Fifth Third Bank Ballpark.

Brad Lawrence, an official Google Trusted Photographer with Fox Virtual Tours, took several days photographing both the exterior and interior of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark to create the virtual tour. The photos are produced using a rotating digital camera mounted on a tripod, and takes multiple photos at each site. Once the photos were taken, Lawrence uses "stitching" software that links each of the photos together to create a seamless tour.

Users can access and navigate through the tour by simply doing a Google search for Kane County Cougars, and then clicking on the photo on the right-hand side of the page. Fans can also find the tour at a permanent spot at, as well as the Cougars' Facebook page and Google+ page.

The tour includes stops inside the ballpark on the concourse level, several seating sections to provide accurate vantage points for game watching, the souvenir shop, an outfield patio deck, and the upstairs party suites along with other group hospitality areas inside the ballpark. The tour also includes interesting locations that Cougars fans may never have directly seen before, such as the view from the top of the pitcher's mound at field level or the view from the batter's box.

"Partnering with Google for this technology is a tremendous resource on many levels. Fans who would like to attend a Cougars game for the first time and are unfamiliar with our home, can now utilize this technology for a virtual tour of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark," Cougars General Manager Curtis Haug said. "This will also be an invaluable tool for our ticket sales and sponsorship staff in their interactions with potential customers."

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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