This post is part of a special series exploring the challenges and opportunities Canadian innovators face in today’s global marketplace.

Sometimes innovation strikes when you're just hanging out.

Just over a year ago, professional photographer John Butterill of Lindsay, Ontario was talking shop with a bunch of photographers over a Hangout. John realized he could connect his DSLR camera to his smartphone, and decided to give the other folks on the Hangout a brief virtual tour of his backyard as seen through the lens of his camera. That's when John had a bit of an epiphany. By using Google+ Hangouts he could offer people with mobility issues the opportunity to virtually leave their beds and wheelchairs, to get out in nature and to take photos like they were right there.

With this inventive approach to using Google+ Hangouts, Virtual Photo Walks were started. Over the past year, John has worked with photographers around the world and has touched the lives of hundreds of people thanks to his innovative and generous spirit.

Posted by Aaron Brindle, Google Canada