New app enables individuals to create Street View-style 360-degree imagery.
Google’s Street View has been somewhat challenged in the transition to a mobile-centric world. It’s available through the Google Maps and Google Earth apps, but it hasn’t really been well showcased on the small screen — until today’s launch of the stand-alone Street View app for Android and iOS.
The new app allows users to search for or browse locations and then explore those places using Street View photography. Existing somewhere between the high utility of Google Maps and the mostly novel experience of Google Earth, this app is both fun and useful.
Most impressively, it also allows users to easily create their own “Street View” images by guiding them through the relatively simple process of following an orange ball. Users simply access their smartphone cameras (or third-party “spherical cameras”) and center the orange ball on the screen within a circle. The app indicates how many more pictures must be taken and where to take them until a 360 “street view” (or interior view) photo sphere is created.
Pictures can be shared publicly or privately.
While lots of people will be creating new Street View imagery of their bedrooms or vacations, the new app also has immediate practical applications for business owners and marketers. The use cases are obvious for real estate agents and restaurants, among other SMB categories seeking to add the imagery to their websites or social profiles.
This expansion of Street View comes not long after Microsoft decided to discontinue its originally very innovative, similar Photosynth app.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)