1. How can Google Maps Business View help my business?
When potential customers search for your business by name on Google, they will see the images displayed directly on the search results page. These panoramic images will also be published on Google+ Local pages, Google Maps and other Google properties and give customers a better sense of the layout, decor and beauty of your business interior. Using easy-to-use html snippets or Maps APIs, you can also link to these images from your own business website, attracting potential customers who visit your website too.
2. Why are businesses being photographed and how can I see the pictures?
As a Google Trusted Photographer, I will be taking high-quality still photographs that will be stitched into 360-degree views using panoramic camera technology. As a Google Trusted Photographers, we are independent photographers who have been trained and certified by Google to produce high quality panoramic images. As a business owner, you can also upload your own photographs to Google by signing into Google+ Local. You’ll be able to see the photos and 360-degree panoramic imagery directly on Google search results and on your Google+ Local page.
3. What will the Trusted Photographer do that I can’t do myself?
As a Google Trusted Photographer, we have been trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces. As a Google Trusted Photographer we are also certified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounted on tripods) that, once uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines, will be transformed into 360-degree panoramic imagery and a walk through of your business. Once the pictures are uploaded, Google’s processing pipelines use sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other technologies to produce the panoramic walkthroughs.
4. Can a business anywhere in the world apply for a photo shoot?
6. What is the relationship between a Trusted Photographer and Google?
Trusted Photographers are independent contractors/businesses that are not employed by Google. Google has certified Trusted Photographers in the process required to meet Google’s standards of quality for taking the feature pictures and panoramic pictures, uploading them, moderating them and eventually publishing them on Google properties.
7. What is the cost to get my business photographed?
Prior to any photo shoot, the Trusted Photographers will present the Service Agreement, specifying their services, for your acceptance. The agreement also spells out (among other things) that, in return for your payment to the Trusted Photographer, you will own the images that have been taken. Prices vary depending on the size of the establishment and the number of PANOs that are determined will adequately represent the business.
The Photo Shoot
1. How long will the photo shoot take?
In most cases, a photo shoot will take about an hour, but this varies depending on the size of your business.
2. What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot?
You are welcome to clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, but remember that the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
3. Which areas of my businesses will be photographed?
Photo shoots will include the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with the photographer to determine what areas of your businesses you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot. Once again, the goal of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
4. Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations?
We know you’re running a business, and that’s why we designed photo shoots to be as non-disruptive as possible. We will work around your schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you and your business. Photo shoots do not require any sort of special equipment, lighting, or setup, so you are free to stay open. Although photo shoots are non-disruptive and should not interfere with your normal business operations, it’s a good idea to let your customers know photography is in process and to avoid being in view of the camera, whenever possible.
5. Will people be included in the photo shoot?
Because we want to keep the focus of the photos on the inside of your business, we aim to have as few people in the shots as possible. During the shoot, we may choose to put up a sign and alert customers and employees about to be photographed. As the business owner it would be your responsibility to notify your employees and customers that the photo shoot is taking place.
Privacy and Legal
1. What measures are in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance?
Photo shoots will exclude any areas of your businesses which you would not like to feature. As a business owner you should always alert customers and employees before a photo is taken, to uphold their privacy. All panoramic imagery will be processed by our state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of any employees or customers who appear in the imagery. At any time you may request additional blurring or takedown of entire images through Google’s Report a Problem link at either the bottom of the PANO image, or within your Google+ Local page.
2. Who from my business can give legal permission for the photo shoot?
You must have the proper authority to allow a Google Trusted Photographer access to the business premises to collect photographs and to subsequently allow Google to use those photographs in its products and services. People with this authority include the owner of the business or a director or manager with the designation to make those commitments on behalf of the business. Please note that by agreeing to the terms and conditions and the Google Terms of Service, before your photo shoot, you are confirming that you have the authority to make that commitment.
3. Will Google be using the imagery in other applications besides Google+ Local pages?
Google may use these images in other products and services in new ways that will make your business information more useful and accessible to users. For example, further integration with Google Maps will allow customers to find these images easily from the 360-degree Street View imagery of nearby roads for many locations.
4. Do I own the photographs taken by a Trusted Photographer?
Yes, you will own the photos once you have paid for this service and the shoot is completed. Keep in mind that by signing the agreement you will also license the use of the photos to Google who will publish the imagery.
5. Can I review the photos after they are taken and before they go live on my Google+ Local page?
Because the technology takes individual unstitched and unreviewed images that need considerable processing after they are uploaded for processing, to produce the attractive ‘walk- through’ experience, you will not be able to review the images before they are uploaded to Google.
6. Can I blur the images or take down all panoramas from by business listing?
Yes, if you see a major issue you can ask us/Google to blur some areas in each of the panoramic images. You may also ask Google to take down all panoramas. At this time Google is unable to take down individual panoramas. To request blurring or takedown click on the “Report a Problem” link on the specific images where you see issues and provide the requested information. Please note that Google’s blurring/removal process may take several days.
7. Could my photos be removed for other reasons?
Yes, your photos might be removed if they are found to violate the Google photo policy. Although all business images undergo quality review before being uploaded, some photos may still be reported as inappropriate and later removed. The complete photo policy can be found here.
8. If I’m not the business owner, can I request the removal of a photo?
Similar to Google’s policy for Street View imagery, their “Report a Problem” tool enables users to request further blurring of images that feature the user in the 360-degree imagery. Users can also request the removal of images that display inappropriate content, and business owners can ask Google to remove 360-degree images through the “Report a problem” link or the “Report inappropriate photo” link for feature photos..
9. Can I embed these images on my business website?
Yes, we encourage you to share the walk-through experience of your business with your customers. To embed the 360-degree panoramas on your website, simply find the HTML snippet from a good point of view of the panoramic imagery on Google Maps, click on the “Link” button, click “customize and preview embedded map,” and then copy and paste the HTML to embed in your website. If you’re looking for even more customizability with your images, check out the Google Maps API.
10. Can I have a repeat photo shoot?
Yes, you are welcome to coordinate a repeat shoot as often as you’d like, but it is up to the individual Trusted Photographer to decide the cost. Many businesses who have recently renovated their interiors or that have seasonal decor will request a reshoot. Remember that you can always upload your own up-to-date, still photographs through Google+ Local as well.