Google mapping is giving more than just directions

The growing importance of geospatial mapping to tourism operators will be discussed at the upcoming 2013 National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 22-23 July.

The event will provide attendees with an unprecedented opportunity to enhance their digital knowledge on topics specifically related to tourism and events, such as geospatial mapping, social media and online bookings.

Attendees will benefit from listening to keynote speaker, Ed Parsons, geospatial technologist at Google. He will present Google Geo: the magic behind the map and discuss ways that tourism operators can promote their business through harnessing Google mapping.

Based in Google’s London office, the mapping wizard has been tasked with organising the world’s information using geography and tools such as Google Earth and Google Maps. Google’s vision is for people from all around the world to have access to up-to-date maps of the highly populated cities such as London and Shanghai to the remotest towns of Mongolia.

The proliferation of smart phones and iPads has meant that tourists now rely on these devices rather than traditional maps to orientate themselves and find their destination, whether it be accommodation, restaurants or local attractions. Unlike traditional maps, smart phones also provide directions, reviews and images that users can interact with. At the conference, Ed will discuss how business owners can benefit by taking advantage of these features to ensure that they can be located both online and offline.

Ed’s presentation will also touch on Google’s next focus, the internal mapping of major buildings to help people navigate transport hubs such as airports and train stations as well as major tourist attractions such as zoos, sporting complexes, museums and galleries. The aim at Google is to make sure that getting lost on holiday will become a thing of the past.

To be held at the MCG, the National Tourism and Events Excellence Conference event is co-hosted by Victoria Tourism Industry Council and Tony Charters and Associates. It is an important opportunity for small business owners and others in the travel and tourism industry to hear from leading international and Australian experts, discuss issues, share knowledge and form business relationships.

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