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Google’s Maps Street View service pilots indoor photos



Google's Street View shows the interior of a chocolate shopGoogle has started a pilot project allowing the public to look inside shops and other businesses found on its maps.

The feature is an extension of the firm’s Street View technology, which already lets users view 360-degree exterior images.

The existing service prompted some privacy complaints from people who claimed the technology was intrusive.

However, Google said the new scheme was completely on a volunteer basis.

“Building on the Google Art Project, which took Street View technology inside 17 acclaimed museums, this project is another creative implementation of Street View technology, to help businesses as they build their online presence,” said a company spokesman.

“We hope to enable businesses to highlight the qualities that make their locations stand out through professional, high-quality imagery.”

Initially the roll-out is limited to select locations including London, Paris and a number of cities in Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the US.

The US company said it was beginning the process by inviting the most searched types of businesses to request a visit by its photographers.

Google said these included restaurants, hotels, shops, gyms and vehicle repair workshops.

However, it has ruled out big-brand chains for the time being. Hospitals and lawyers’ offices have also been excluded.

Business owners are told they must warn their customers and employees about the photoshoot before it begins. Google has promised it will blur out or refuse to publish any images that include bystanders.

The photoshoots will produce 360-degree images using fish-eye and wide-angle lenses as well as stills. Business owners are also invited to upload their own pictures. …

via BBC News – Google’s Maps Street View service pilots indoor photos.



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