Cougars Partner With Google For New “Virtual Tour” Technology

It’s been an exciting week for us as the Cougars organization now has a virtual tour of Fifth Third Bank Ballpark for fans to access, courtesy of some new Google technology.

The below press release will have some of the details on this new technology from Google. We’re believed to be the first team in Minor League Baseball to use this.

Special thanks goes to Fox Virtual Tours photographer Brad Lawrence. Brad has worked with us on this idea for more than 6 weeks now. Brad actually worked in our Customer Service area of the ballpark more than 20 years ago. He mentioned an interesting story of working in Customer Service the night of the infamous O.J. Simpson “White Bronco” chase, and watching the police chase footage from the press box television in 1994.

In working with Brad on this idea, we first had to do a walk-through of the entire stadium to determine which areas of the ballpark would be featured. Locations such as the souvenir shop, field level shots, and upper deck group hospitality areas were all considered. We had a finite amount of shots we were allowed to use as we put the plan together.

Then it was photo day, or photo days, as the project took more than one day to actually shoot. Brad couldn’t have picked better days to be outside shooting, with the sun out and some wispy clouds up above. There was a little sense of urgency to the photographing as well. Our season, just a couple of days earlier, had ended. That said, the look of the ballpark still resembled “in-season” mode, with outfield signage, the green grass, and the concourse food and drink areas still intact. Shooting this tour later on in the fall, or in the spring with empty trees and a less-than-lush outfield grass, just wouldn’t have popped as much.

That said, we hope you enjoy this new technology. Again, more details on the virtual tour are below. Let us know what you think!

-Shawn

COUGARS PARTNER WITH GOOGLE FOR NEW VIRTUAL TOUR TECHNOLOGY
FANS CAN TAKE VIRTUAL TOUR OF FIFTH THIRD BANK BALLPARK

Geneva, IL – 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 kccougars.com, 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.”

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About Kane County Cougars

The Kane County Cougars are the Class-A Affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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