Among Google’s imagery products, we strive to balance what makes sense for you, the pro or enthusiast photographer, with the needs of consumers. Achieving this balance can be a challenge, especially when publishing tools are managed under separate products. So we wanted to share our plans to help streamline our pro photographer tools with the established Street View brand. Here’s a summary of what’s to come in mid-August:
New Street View app
For the first time, in one new app, your profile and photo spheres will be presented alongside those from Google and other contributors, creating a unified Street View gallery designed to bring more visibility to you and your work. On iOS, the Street View app will replace Photo Sphere Camera with both iOS and Android versions of the new app supporting our photo sphere camera mode. Most notably though, the apps are capable of linking to spherical cameras, including two at launch: the NCTech iris360 and the Giroptic 360cam. The iris360 delivers 8K, HDR images to the app, ready to be published in 120 seconds, while the 360cam focuses on accessibility with fast shots and a take–it–anywhere design.
Street View | Trusted
In addition to the upcoming app, we're also preparing a set of changes to our sister platform, Google Maps Business View. In mid–August, this certified photographer program will be rebranded as “Street View | Trusted.” It will remain focused on supporting pro photographers who publish photo spheres to Google Maps, but at that time — and in direct response to your feedback — the program will shed many of its stringent requirements in favor of far more accommodating policies. In short, enrollment will be easier, publishing requirements will be simpler, and we’ll improve publishing and editing reliability. High quality imagery will remain a key requirement and distinction for those in the program.
Your Views profile will have a new look and feel, and be transferred over to Google Maps when Views goes offline in mid–August. At that time, we’ll enable photo sphere uploads directly from the Google Maps website. And later in the year, Google Maps will re-introduce the lost support for creating connections between photo spheres (“constellations”) with a new, more automated solution.
All of your existing, Maps-approved photos, photo spheres and constellations will continue to be visible — and deletable — through the Google Maps website. All images from your Views profile, including those that have not been approved for Google Maps, will continue to be hosted on Google+. And when publishing via Google+, geotagged images with the appropriate permissions will also continue to appear in Google Maps and Google Earth.
We hope that this unified product landscape will provide even more benefits for the photography community, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we prepare to take the next step in spherical photography.