Google Names Sarasota eCity of Florida for 2014

…and gives 82º West a special shout out!

From the Sarasota Herald Tribune
Published: Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 1:37 p.m.

Google Inc. has named Sarasota its 2014 eCity in Florida, a reflection of what the Internet giant calls the city’s strong online business community.

Google names Sarasota eCity 2014Local firms such as 82° West, which has offered online marketing and video production for a decade, use the Web to derive new online leads, connect with clients, attract new customers and, ultimately, fuel the Southwest Florida’s economy, Google stated.

“Sarasota serves as a prime example of how innovation and growth in e-commerce can successfully contribute to bolstering economic progress and competitiveness,” Google’s Emma Ogiemwanye said in a statement. “Google is proud to recognize Sarasota’s accomplishment and the role it plays in creating Florida jobs.”

Sarasota joins 49 other cities nationwide in being designated as a leading eCity this year.

In determining its second-annual list, Google and independent research firm Ipsos analyzed the online strength of small businesses across all 50 states, weighing the use of blogs and websites, online sales and mobile-friendly portals.

Google and Ipsos also evaluated the potential for growth within each local digital economy.

“Being recognized by Google as Florida’s 2014 eCity means we have the strongest documented online business community in the state,” Sarasota City Manager Tom Barwin said.

“Google algorithms have proven what many of us have suspected,” Barwin said. “Sarasota is open for digital, high tech-oriented folks who enjoy cultural amenities and the world’s greatest sunsets.”

The Internet search engine giant is no stranger to Sarasota.

Three years ago, Google honed its well-viewed Google Maps images here to show sharper details and 45-degree angles — one of only seven Florida cities to receive an imaging upgrade at the time.

In July 2013, Google announced plans to map the entire Florida coastline — all 825 miles — including shots of Siesta Key, Turtle and Lido Key beaches, a move tourism officials applauded.

The four-month project used a backpack-mounted camera that captured 360-degree views and snapped photos every 2.5 seconds.

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