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Discover Elton and Los Angeles history using Google Maps Platform

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Rory Newton Dunn, Head of Digital, at Rocket Entertainment. He shares how they created an immersive map experience to celebrate Elton John’s final North American tour using Google Maps Platform.

Los Angeles is where Elton John’s legendary career truly took flight and a place that feels like a second home to both him and his fans. Elton’s final North American tour will finish at Dodger Stadium on November 17, 19, and 20 and as a way to celebrate the city, we’re connecting his fans with significant places in L.A. from Elton’s past and present. To do this, we partnered with Google Maps Platform onan interactive map experience at–built with some of the newest Google Maps Platform features for the web. This experience lets fans explore L.A. and discover the story behind places like the Troubadour, Supervinyl and Book Soup, and discover some of the exciting Elton-themed experiences created around the city to celebrate the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour. 

When we began imagining this project, we knew we needed a simple, visual way to identify the exact locations of places that mean something to Elton. The choice to start with a map was clear, because what better way for fans to immerse themselves in the city of L.A. than by using the Google map they’re already familiar with and use every day.

Building an immersive map experience

To help celebrate Elton’s final U.S. tour, we wanted to create an experience that matched the energy, showmanship, and style Elton will bring to Dodger Stadium. To make this happen, we worked with Google to take full advantage of its knowledge of the real world and to use some of the latest features of theMaps JavaScript API. The result is one we know Elton’s fans will love, whether they make it to the show in person or want to explore L.A. from afar. The map lets fans explore some of Elton’s favourite places across the city, from notable venues that impacted his career to some special spots for music and books.

Incorporating Elton’s style 

Elton John is a one-of-a-kind performer and style icon, so we wanted the map to compliment the themes of the ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ tour, as well as evoke his connection to the venue–L.A.’s beloved Dodger Stadium. With the advanced customization features available from Google Maps Platform, like Advanced Markers and Cloud-based maps styling, we were able to style the basemap and add custom markers to truly make the map match the visual design of our broader L.A. experience. With Google Maps Platform, we had a fine-grain level of control over the style of the map, which really makes it feel like a fully-integrated part of the broader experience we have created in physical locations across L.A.

Bringing L.A. to Elton’s fans

For this project, we wanted more than just a map. We wanted to create an immersive experience that would let Elton share his connection to Los Angeles with his fans, and help them discover all of the fantastic things we have planned in connection with the tour across the city. Even for those who aren’t able to be a part of the live event, we wanted a way for them to be a part of what Elton is bringing to the city. 

With the WebGL-powered map features available in the Maps JavaScript API, we were able to incorporate features like Google’s 3D synthetic oblique building models, in addition to depth and perspective by using tilt and rotation. Combined with our custom styling and markers, fans can explore all of the places Elton wants to share as more than just points on the map. And, with our virtual and in person scavenger hunts, fans from around the world can enter for a chance to win exclusive prizes when they explore Elton’s favourite places.

We’re also excited to be able to share what we call Rocket View–an experience built with a pre-release Google Maps Platform feature that adds photo-realistic 3D videos of all of the locations on the map. Rocket View leverages Google Earth, rendering APIs, and several Google Cloud products to generate drone-like videos. We were even able to customize the time of day, and add our markers and branding. Be sure to check out Rocket View. We think the result is stunning.

Farewell Yellow Brick Road

Los Angeles is one of Elton’s favourite places, and the city that launched his career, from his first U.S. performance at the Troubadour to being the first solo performer in history to sell out Dodger Stadium. We hope you take a moment to celebrate L.A. with Elton on his farewell tour, sign up tobecome a Rocket Club member to receive exclusive news, anddiscover his favourite places no matter where you are in the world.

For more information on Google Maps Platform,visit our website. If you’re interested in learning more about Google Maps Platform immersive experiences, sign uphere to stay in touch. 

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