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As the world’s most well known virtual tour, Google Maps knows how to hold our interest at the same time as fulfilling a practical need in the modern world – by offering us the chance to swim with the Loch Ness Monster or hitch a ride on a Welsh Dragon.

The internet giant took the opportunity of a recent application update to add a few little hidden gems to attract the interest of the consumer (and likely people like ourselves, who are now pushing the household name back into your consciousness and newsfeeds as a result of their ingenious plan!) and help people interact with their updated maps and virtual tours.

User Treats Make Virtual Tours and Map Apps Fun!

Known in the internet industry as “Easter eggs”, these little treats take the form of tongue in cheek additions to the otherwise serious mapping service(that also offers interior and exterior virtual tours through its popular Streetview tool) They are not publicised and simply left for users to find, and share with their friends.

In this instance the lighthearted additions were timed to coincide with the introduction of public transport information on the Google maps system – offering users the opportunity to plan trips through the mapping app, as well as using the comprehensive virtual tour imagery to have a bit of an explore in advance.

The recently added Google Easter eggs make reference to local legend, lore and the associations of an area, tying in with existing local identity and adding to the excitement of the experience for users planning a leisure visit to one of the easter egg locations.

Virtual Tour App Offers Loch Ness Monster Rides

One of the newly added easter eggs in Google Maps is the option to travel the length of Scotland’s legendary Loch Ness on the back of the area’s eponymous monster.

By searching for directions from Fort Augustus as the Western end  of the loch to Urquhart Castle on its Northern shore, internet users reveal the easter egg, which offers “Loch Ness Monster” as a mode of transport, claiming that the journey takes 28 minutes on Nessie’s back, as opposed to 34 on the local bus service.

Other easter eggs added at the same time include the option to take a speedy 21 minute dragon ride between the Welsh landmarks of Snowdon and the Brecon Beacons, or to ride in a royal carriage from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle in London.

Using Easter Eggs in Property Marketing Materials

The google map easter eggs are not the first user treats to be added to integrated virtual tour and mapping apps, with a number of businesses having already submitted virtual tour imagery including little asides for the savvy online audience (including this Manchester based ad agency) but serve as a reminder that a few fun additions to a virtual tour or other imagery  can be a great way to generate  interest and send marketing materials viral.