Tag Archives: UK

Creativity in a crisis

As the realities of a global pandemic sank in and the UK went into lockdown, children and young people employed their everyday surroundings as inspiration for creativity. Kitchen tables, living room floors and gardens were transformed into art studios. The hand-drawn rainbows that started appearing in windows across England in early spring were one of many signals that young people want to be heard, and that they are able to respond to the current crisis in an artistic way. 


Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with Arts Council England to collect these voices and allow young people to express themselves on a global platform. Arts Council England, dedicated to promoting the performing, visual and literary arts in England, launched The Way I See It at the start of the summer. Working with five cultural organizations, they invited children and young people across the country to stretch their creative muscles as they responded to the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. The partner organizations—English National Opera, BALTIC, Company Three, Dancefest and Heart & Soul—set out challenges such “Lockdown Aria,” “This Is My Statement” and “Half A Minute Movie,” which invited 30-second films inspired by a newly acquired skill.
I was inspired by communities coming together during lockdown and I felt it was a good thing to document what had happened. Ben from Birmingham, age 13

Now, Google Arts & Culture has provided the projects with a permanent digital home. Explore this playful and personal collection of spoken word, film, visual art, photography, music, dance and more created during lockdown, as well as new pieces produced in response to a series of summer challenges. It’s an engaging depiction of life in 2020 as experienced by 170 people aged between 2 and 28 years old. Visit g.co/TheWayISeeIt to explore the whole collection. 

In addition to this collaboration with Arts Council England, Google Arts & Culture has also worked with several European art schools to virtually exhibit their students’ responses to the crisis. For Room with a View, young artists were asked to create a piece of art from or of their window—a fitting symbol, as windows have functioned throughout art history as both barriers and connections to the outside world. Students from Accademia di Belle Arti Bologna, École Camondo, Central Saint Martins, London College of Fashion and Edinburgh College of Art responded with over 150 submissions, ranging from acrylic and oil to video. The final collection has been curated by Amira Gad, Head of Programmes, Light Art Space (LAS), to draw out some common themes like Nostalgia, New Perspectives and Reimagining Spaces. Discover the full collection at g.co/roomwithaview.

I’m using Google Maps to plan summer family fun

Due to COVID-19, this is the summer for staycations and local day trips. In London, where my family and I live, we’re trying to figure out what that looks like for us. We have a toddler, so our ideal day trip is somewhere she can run around and we can have a picnic—and where the public restrooms have reopened (or, failing that, a discreet wooded area…). 

So how do I find a destination that checks all our boxes? Here’s what’s worked.

Screenshot of Weald Country Park Google Maps listing


Meet at a fun halfway point

My cousin and her family live about a two-hour drive from us, and when lockdown lifted we were more than ready to meet up. But instead of driving all the way to them—a four-hour round trip is a struggle for even the most patient of toddlers—we had the idea to meet up at a halfway point. 


But how do you find that halfway point? That space between us was a no-man’s land where neither of us knew of any parks or nature reserves or anywhere that would be suitable for two energetic toddlers. So I used Google Maps to find the rough halfway point. Then I filtered by “Attractions” (you can also choose “Parks” or “Restaurants” or other categories) to see what came up. I quickly landed on Weald Country Park, which boasts a 4.5-star rating, almost a thousand reviews and a promising description: “Fallow deer, a visitor center & hiking.”

Screenshot of reviews of Weald Country Park.png


Read the reviews

Deer-watching had the potential to keep toddlers occupied for at least one minute. A visitor center indicated parking and bathrooms. And hiking probably meant that picnicking was easily an option. But to double-check these critical questions, I relied on the kindness of strangers who had posted recent reviews and ratings. Local Guides and other people who contribute to Google Maps are very helpful in offering information about how much they liked (or didn’t like) their trip, and many of them have the same topics on their mind that I do. Since you can sort reviews by date, it was easy to see the most relevant ones—i.e., those that have been filed since lockdown lifted—for current info on toilets (yes), parking (yes, but it’s expensive), and whether the playgrounds have reopened (yes, very recently). 

screenshot of photos from Weald Country Park.png


Browse the photos and Street View

To really get a feel for a place, sometimes there’s no replacement for a photo. Happily, many Google Maps contributors feel the same way, so it’s often very easy to find recent photos of the places you’re thinking of visiting. And for a 360-degree panorama, I can drop the pin and check out the scene on Street View. I soon discovered that, in addition to deer, Weald Country Park is home to cows and ducks, making it more or less heaven on earth for two two-year-olds.

Screenshot of list of saved places.png

Save places and make lists

I know that we’ll want to meet up with my cousin’s family again soon, and there were a few other nearby nature reserves that looked equally promising. So I tapped the “Save” button to start a list I could refer back to. I can even share it with my cousin so we can work on the list together. Google Maps puts a pin in them too, so the next time I’m scouting the area I’ll see little flags helpfully highlighting them for me.


Contribute your own review

If you found someone’s review or photos helpful, why not pay it forward by posting your own? If you’ve found information that needs updating, like a store’s opening hours, or if you want to let people know how your experience of a place matched up to expectations, click on the Contribute button at the bottom of the screen on the Google Maps app and share your knowledge.

Helping European news publishers succeed online

During the pandemic, demand for local news has grown as people try to stay up to date. COVID-19 has also increased the financial challenges many of these news publishers face. It’s now more important than ever to support local news, and that’s why we are introducing the Digital Growth Program from the Google News Initiative (GNI), a free training program for small-to-medium sized news publishers. This will be available first in Europe, and will roll out to more regions in the coming months. 


The GNI Digital Growth Program has been created to help establish and grow the online business of news publishers who have more recently started developing their digital platforms. We meet regularly with publishers of all sizes to hear how we can help them develop their products, expand their business and improve their readers’ online experience. Based on feedback from these conversations, we’ve designed workshops which cover the fundamentals of digital business strategy, audience engagement and revenue strategy.


In Europe, we have partnered with FT Strategies and Table Stakes Europe from WAN-IFRA to deliver in-depth labs, which include intensive training sessions and mentoring delivered over a number of weeks and months. As part of these labs, our partners will offer training from industry experts on a range of subjects, including change management, subscriptions and audience growth. While the training is free, spaces are limited and available upon application. 


The GNI Digital Growth Program is available from today in six countries: Spain, the UK, Germany, Italy, Poland and France.  It’s all in local languages, and many more countries to follow in the coming months. Publishers can sign up to a workshop or apply for a lab at the GNI Digital Growth Program page. 


Together with the participating publishers, we will measure how this program helps to improve their business over time. This builds on many years of support we’ve provided to the news industry as part of the Google News Initiative. Most recently that support entailed emergency funding to more than 5,300 local news organizationsand five months of fee relief on Ad Manager for news publishers globally. Through these and other programs, products and partnerships, we remain committed to supporting news publishers of all sizes around the world as they transition to a more digital world.

Helping European news publishers succeed online

During the pandemic, demand for local news has grown as people try to stay up to date. COVID-19 has also increased the financial challenges many of these news publishers face. It’s now more important than ever to support local news, and that’s why we are introducing the Digital Growth Program from the Google News Initiative (GNI), a free training program for small-to-medium sized news publishers. This will be available first in Europe, and will roll out to more regions in the coming months. 


The GNI Digital Growth Program has been created to help establish and grow the online business of news publishers who have more recently started developing their digital platforms. We meet regularly with publishers of all sizes to hear how we can help them develop their products, expand their business and improve their readers’ online experience. Based on feedback from these conversations, we’ve designed workshops which cover the fundamentals of digital business strategy, audience engagement and revenue strategy.


In Europe, we have partnered with FT Strategies and Table Stakes Europe from WAN-IFRA to deliver in-depth labs, which include intensive training sessions and mentoring delivered over a number of weeks and months. As part of these labs, our partners will offer training from industry experts on a range of subjects, including change management, subscriptions and audience growth. While the training is free, spaces are limited and available upon application. 


The GNI Digital Growth Program is available from today in six countries: Spain, the UK, Germany, Italy, Poland and France.  It’s all in local languages, and many more countries to follow in the coming months. Publishers can sign up to a workshop or apply for a lab at the GNI Digital Growth Program page. 


Together with the participating publishers, we will measure how this program helps to improve their business over time. This builds on many years of support we’ve provided to the news industry as part of the Google News Initiative. Most recently that support entailed emergency funding to more than 5,300 local news organizationsand five months of fee relief on Ad Manager for news publishers globally. Through these and other programs, products and partnerships, we remain committed to supporting news publishers of all sizes around the world as they transition to a more digital world.

Explore 250 years of the Royal Academy of Arts

London’s Royal Academy of Arts(RA) has been championing artists and architects for more than 250 years, and—pandemic or not—isn’t stopping now. Since its founding in 1769, the RA’s graduates have influenced culture in the UK and abroad through art practice, education, research and more. During this time of closed doors, the RA is inviting art fans around the world to walk their halls, explore their collection and delve into their stories on Google Arts & Culture.

The RA collection is a varied and unconventional treasure trove of British art, with works from luminaries like J.M.W. Turner, John Constable and Angelica Kauffman, through to contemporary masters like Lubaina Humid, Yinka Shonibare and Lynn Chadwick. Out of the 200+ worksnow available online, 20 have been captured in gigapixel resolution using our Art Camera technology, giving users the closest possible look at the details of each work.

At the ripe old age of 250, the RA underwent major renovations last year to extend and enhance their public offerings. The refreshed building was then captured from head to tail using Street View to enable art fans to explore the building and its galleries online for the first time.

Thirty stories illustrate the RA’s history, including a few lesser-known tales such as the feud between John Constable and JMW Turner. Self-guided tours of masterpieces mean you can explore at your own pace and virtually press your nose up to the canvas without raising a security guard’s ire. Take a walk through the building’s many halls, explore a sculpture installation, see the unusual props in the life drawing studio and walk from the grand Piccadilly entrance right through to the stately Burlington Gardens extension. 

As Axel Rüger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, says, “Especially in times of crisis, art galleries and museums should be places of community that provide inspiration, escape, solace, fun and consolation. The Royal Academy of Arts has existed to do that since 1768. At a time when our doors are sadly closed, we are delighted to continue that cultural exchange online, through Google Arts & Culture.”

Visit g.co/MeetTheRA to explore, or download the free Google Arts & Culture app for iOS or Android.

Explore 250 years of the Royal Academy of Arts

London’s Royal Academy of Arts(RA) has been championing artists and architects for more than 250 years, and—pandemic or not—isn’t stopping now. Since its founding in 1769, the RA’s graduates have influenced culture in the UK and abroad through art practice, education, research and more. During this time of closed doors, the RA is inviting art fans around the world to walk their halls, explore their collection and delve into their stories on Google Arts & Culture.

The RA collection is a varied and unconventional treasure trove of British art, with works from luminaries like J.M.W. Turner, John Constable and Angelica Kauffman, through to contemporary masters like Lubaina Humid, Yinka Shonibare and Lynn Chadwick. Out of the 200+ worksnow available online, 20 have been captured in gigapixel resolution using our Art Camera technology, giving users the closest possible look at the details of each work.

At the ripe old age of 250, the RA underwent major renovations last year to extend and enhance their public offerings. The refreshed building was then captured from head to tail using Street View to enable art fans to explore the building and its galleries online for the first time.

Thirty stories illustrate the RA’s history, including a few lesser-known tales such as the feud between John Constable and JMW Turner. Self-guided tours of masterpieces mean you can explore at your own pace and virtually press your nose up to the canvas without raising a security guard’s ire. Take a walk through the building’s many halls, explore a sculpture installation, see the unusual props in the life drawing studio and walk from the grand Piccadilly entrance right through to the stately Burlington Gardens extension. 

As Axel Rüger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy, says, “Especially in times of crisis, art galleries and museums should be places of community that provide inspiration, escape, solace, fun and consolation. The Royal Academy of Arts has existed to do that since 1768. At a time when our doors are sadly closed, we are delighted to continue that cultural exchange online, through Google Arts & Culture.”

Visit g.co/MeetTheRA to explore, or download the free Google Arts & Culture app for iOS or Android.

How AI could predict sight-threatening eye conditions

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK and USA and is the third largest cause of blindness across the globe. The latest research collaboration between Google Health, DeepMind and Moorfields Eye Hospital is published in Nature Medicine today. It shows that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to not only spot the presence of AMD in scans, but also predict the disease’s progression. 

Vision loss and wet AMD

Around 75 percent of patients with AMD have an early form called “dry” AMD that usually has relatively mild impact on vision. A minority of patients, however, develop the more sight-threatening form of AMD called exudative, or “wet” AMD. This condition affects around 15 percent of patients, and occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop underneath the retina. These vessels can leak fluid, which can cause permanent loss of central vision if not treated early enough.

Macular degeneration mainly affects central vision, causing "blind spots" directly ahead

Macular degeneration mainly affects central vision, causing "blind spots" directly ahead (Macular Society).

Wet AMD often affects one eye first, so patients become heavily reliant upon their unaffected eye to maintain their normal day-to-day living. Unfortunately, 20 percent of these patientswill go on to develop wet AMD in their other eye within two years. The condition often develops suddenly but further vision loss can be slowed with treatments if wet AMD is recognized early enough. Ophthalmologists regularly monitor their patients for signs of wet AMD using 3D optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of the retina.

The period before wet AMD develops is a critical window for preventive treatment, which is why we set out to build a system that could predict whether a patient with wet AMD in one eye will go on to develop the condition in their second eye. This is a novel clinical challenge, since it’s not a task that is routinely performed.

How AI could predict the development of wet AMD

In collaboration with colleagues at DeepMind and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, we’ve developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model that has the potential to predict whether a patient will develop wet AMD within six months. In the future, this system could potentially help doctors plan studies of earlier intervention, as well as contribute more broadly to clinical understanding of the disease and disease progression. 

We trained and tested our model using a retrospective, anonymized dataset of 2,795 patients. These patients had been diagnosed with wet AMD in one of their eyes, and were attending one of seven clinical sites for regular OCT imaging and treatment. For each patient, our researchers worked with retinal experts to review all prior scans for each eye and determine the scan when wet AMD was first evident. In collaboration with our colleagues at DeepMind we developed an AI system composed of two deep convolutional neural networks, one taking the raw 3D scan as input and the other, built on our previous work, taking a segmentation map outlining the types of tissue present in the retina. Our prediction system used the raw scan and tissue segmentations to estimate a patient’s risk of progressing to wet AMD within the next six months. 

To test the system, we presented the model with a single, de-identified scan and asked it to predict whether there were any signs that indicated the patient would develop wet AMD in the following six months. We also asked six clinical experts—three retinal specialists and three optometrists, each with at least ten years’ experience—to do the same. Predicting the possibility of a patient developing wet AMD is not a task that is usually performed in clinical practice so this is the first time, to our knowledge, that experts have been assessed on this ability. 

While clinical experts performed better than chance alone, there was substantial variability between their assessments. Our system performed as well as, and in certain cases better than, these clinicians in predicting wet AMD progression. This highlights its potential use for informing studies in the future to assess or help develop treatments to prevent wet AMD progression.

Future work could address several limitations of our research. The sample was representative of practice at multiple sites of the world’s largest eye hospital, but more work is needed to understand the model performance in different demographics and clinical settings. Such work should also understand the impact of unstudied factors—such as additional imaging tests—that might be important for prediction, but were beyond the scope of this work.

What’s next 

These findings demonstrate the potential for AI to help improve understanding of disease progression and predict the future risk of patients developing sight-threatening conditions. This, in turn, could help doctors study preventive treatments.

This is the latest stage in our partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a long-standing relationship that transitioned from DeepMind to Google Health in September 2019. Our previous collaborations include using AI to quickly detect eye conditions, and showing how Google Cloud AutoML might eventually help clinicians without prior technical experience to accurately detect common diseases from medical images. 

This is early research, rather than a product that could be implemented in routine clinical practice. Any future product would need to go through rigorous prospective clinical trials and regulatory approvals before it could be used as a tool for doctors. This work joins a growing body of research in the area of developing predictive models that could inform clinical research and trials. In line with this, Moorfields will be making the dataset available through the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research. We hope that models like ours will be able to support this area of work to improve patient outcomes. 


How AI could predict sight-threatening eye conditions

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the biggest cause of sight loss in the UK and USA and is the third largest cause of blindness across the globe. The latest research collaboration between Google Health, DeepMind and Moorfields Eye Hospital is published in Nature Medicine today. It shows that artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to not only spot the presence of AMD in scans, but also predict the disease’s progression. 

Vision loss and wet AMD

Around 75 percent of patients with AMD have an early form called “dry” AMD that usually has relatively mild impact on vision. A minority of patients, however, develop the more sight-threatening form of AMD called exudative, or “wet” AMD. This condition affects around 15 percent of patients, and occurs when abnormal blood vessels develop underneath the retina. These vessels can leak fluid, which can cause permanent loss of central vision if not treated early enough.

Macular degeneration mainly affects central vision, causing "blind spots" directly ahead

Macular degeneration mainly affects central vision, causing "blind spots" directly ahead (Macular Society).

Wet AMD often affects one eye first, so patients become heavily reliant upon their unaffected eye to maintain their normal day-to-day living. Unfortunately, 20 percent of these patientswill go on to develop wet AMD in their other eye within two years. The condition often develops suddenly but further vision loss can be slowed with treatments if wet AMD is recognized early enough. Ophthalmologists regularly monitor their patients for signs of wet AMD using 3D optical coherence tomography (OCT) images of the retina.

The period before wet AMD develops is a critical window for preventive treatment, which is why we set out to build a system that could predict whether a patient with wet AMD in one eye will go on to develop the condition in their second eye. This is a novel clinical challenge, since this it’s not a task that is routinely performed.

How AI could predict the development of wet AMD

In collaboration with colleagues at DeepMind and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, we’ve developed an artificial intelligence (AI) model that has the potential to predict whether a patient will develop wet AMD within six months. In the future, this system could potentially help doctors plan studies of earlier intervention, as well as contribute more broadly to clinical understanding of the disease and disease progression. 

We trained and tested our model using a retrospective, anonymized dataset of 2,795 patients. These patients had been diagnosed with wet AMD in one of their eyes, and were attending one of seven clinical sites for regular OCT imaging and treatment. For each patient, our researchers worked with retinal experts to review all prior scans for each eye and determine the scan when wet AMD was first evident. In collaboration with our colleagues at DeepMind we developed an AI system composed of two deep convolutional neural networks, one taking the raw 3D scan as input and the other, built on our previous work, taking a segmentation map outlining the types of tissue present in the retina. Our prediction system used the raw scan and tissue segmentations to estimate a patient’s risk of progressing to wet AMD within the next six months. 

To test the system, we presented the model with a single, de-identified scan and asked it to predict whether there were any signs that indicated the patient would develop wet AMD in the following six months. We also asked six clinical experts—three retinal specialists and three optometrists, each with at least ten years’ experience—to do the same. Predicting the possibility of a patient developing wet AMD is not a task that is usually performed in clinical practice so this is the first time, to our knowledge, that experts have been assessed on this ability. 

While clinical experts performed better than chance alone, there was substantial variability between their assessments. Our system performed as well as, and in certain cases better than, these clinicians in predicting wet AMD progression. This highlights its potential use for informing studies in the future to assess or help develop treatments to prevent wet AMD progression.

Future work could address several limitations of our research. The sample was representative of practice at multiple sites of the world’s largest eye hospital, but more work is needed to understand the model performance in different demographics and clinical settings. Such work should also understand the impact of unstudied factors—such as additional imaging tests—that might be important for prediction, but were beyond the scope of this work.

What’s next 

These findings demonstrate the potential for AI to help improve understanding of disease progression and predict the future risk of patients developing sight-threatening conditions. This, in turn, could help doctors study preventive treatments.

This is the latest stage in our partnership with Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, a long-standing relationship that transitioned from DeepMind to Google Health in September 2019. Our previous collaborations include using AI to quickly detect eye conditions, and showing how Google Cloud AutoML might eventually help clinicians without prior technical experience to accurately detect common diseases from medical images. 

This is early research, rather than a product that could be implemented in routine clinical practice. Any future product would need to go through rigorous prospective clinical trials and regulatory approvals before it could be used as a tool for doctors. This work joins a growing body of research in the area of developing predictive models that could inform clinical research and trials. In line with this, Moorfields will be making the dataset available through the Ryan Initiative for Macular Research. We hope that models like ours will be able to support this area of work to improve patient outcomes. 


Get creative with “do it”

It seems that baking bread, cleaning one's cellar or brewing Kombucha have become popular hobbies while staying at home. But how about creating a work of art? “Do it” are DIY instructions shared by leading creatives you can easily do at home. Today we have created a new hub for ‘Do It’ on Arts & Culture —created in collaboration with Serpentine Galleries,Independent Curators International and Kaldor Public Art Projects. 

 It began as a project by the Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, curator Hans Ulrich Obristand 12 artists in Paris in 1993, and now we’re adding new “do its” including ones shared by Virgil A. Abloh, Sumayya Vally from Counterspace Studio, and Arca

 More “do its” will be published weekly, you can also try others from the past 27 years: make a wish with Yoko Ono,invent book titles like the Raqs Media Collective or bake a delicious gratin guided by film director Agnes Varda

 We hope these instructions will help you release your inner artist—share your creations via  #DoItAroundTheWorld. To find out more about “do it” visit g.co/doitaroundtheworld or discover more on Google Arts & Culture—or download our free app for iOS or Android

Header image by Precious Okoyomon

Street View is helping this tour guide stay in business

On March 24, government restrictions due to COVID-19 went into effect across the United Kingdom. With nonessential businesses forced to close, public gatherings banned, and most people required to stay at home, these regulations instantly transformed daily life. They also presented a serious threat to Katie Wignall’s business: Katie makes her living as a tour guide, showing curious visitors the highlights of London.

But instead of trying to simply wait out the crisis, Katie looked to technology for a solution to creatively keep her business going. We chatted with her to find out how she’s successfully managed to take her walking tours virtual.

Beaver statues on London's Oxford Street

One of the beaver statues on Oxford Street

Describe your business, Look Up London.

I provide walking tours all over London for public and private groups. I’m a Blue Badge Tourist Guide, which is the top accreditation for tourist guides in the UK. We do two years of training, pass 11 exams, and we’re the only guides that can take you inside the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey.

Look Up London started originally as a blog and social media channels, where I shared quirkier bits of London history. The name is all about spotting the little details in the architecture around you, to tell the story of why something looks the way it does. For example, on Oxford Street, which is famous for its shopping, there's a building decorated with sculptures of beavers. They're a clue to the fact it used to be a hat factory—slightly gruesome, but a detail that is so often missed by passersby!

How has your business been impacted by COVID-19 and the government restrictions?

I’ve had to shut down, basically. I can’t go out; we’re not able to meet up in groups to deliver the normal tours. All of the work I had booked going into the summer—the busiest time—has just been cancelled or postponed. Literally overnight there was no work at all. 

Katie Wignall giving a tour of London's Guildhall

Katie giving a tour of the Guildhall

What gave you the idea for virtual tours?

It was actually a suggestion from a follower on Instagram who asked, “Is there a way you could do virtual tours?” I started out by going out myself and having my husband film me on London streets, but then as the situation escalated, we weren’t allowed outside.

So then I thought I’d experiment with Google Street View. If I couldn’t go outside, I could offer people the next best thing, through a screen. I was already using Street View a lot for my work—it’s really good for my research. I love the feature where you can go back in time. It’s not possible for every location, but for a lot of central London, you can select a place in Google Maps for desktop, drag the Street View pegman into the picture and click on the clock in the top left corner to explore imagery from the past. You can see where buildings have been demolished and what used to be standing where.

So now, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2 PM London time, I use Street View to give a virtual tour on Instagram Live. And for anyone who can’t make that time, I post the recordings on my website. They’re all free, and if people enjoy them, they can make a donation.

What’s been the response?

People have been so lovely. From the comments, I think it’s been very helpful for people in lockdown, who maybe are older and can’t get out of the house as often, or people who’ve had to leave London and are feeling homesick. Lots have messaged me to say it’s made them feel like they’ve been outside. They’ve really learned something new and taken their minds off the situation for twenty minutes or so.

Any advantages to using Street View compared to being there in person?

The great thing about Street View is that you can hop about—you can jump a mile down the road and people don’t have to get on a bus or actually walk, so you can cover a lot of ground.

And then there’s that feature to go back in time and see things how they appeared years ago, back to 2008. On a normal tour, you can show pictures and give people an idea, but if people are on Street View and feel like they’re standing in a space and seeing the changes right there, it’s a different experience.

One example, on my Aldgate tour, is a garden space that has been relandscaped. The garden looks beautiful now, but three years ago you could see the cobbles of Victorian London. And those cobbles happen to have been the site of the murder of Catherine Eddowes, who was a victim of Jack the Ripper. That was an evocative thing to be able to show.

Any advice for other small business owners who are trying to figure out how to adapt right now?

I think you have to do the thing that you enjoy doing. I don’t think I’d be able to do these three times a week if I didn’t enjoy them. If you have something that you want to share, there’s no reason you shouldn’t do that. Technology has made everything so accessible, and if you care about something, chances are others care about that as well.

Source: Google LatLong