Google Streetview app review and technology background.Tue 15 Sep 2015
Google's August 2015 release of the new "Streetview" app is a major realignment of their integration of immersive 360 panorama vision. Previously, pro-am 360 photographers relied on Google "Photosphere" app, Microsoft Photosynth or 360cities app to capture 360 panoramas.
Google had reserved "Streetview" as the name for panoramic photography captured by their own technologies that we have become all too familiar with. Since 2008 we have come to expect to be able to click into any street in the world, look in every direction and see the surrounds. In all but a few countries Google have captured and share this vision primarily via Google Maps.
Since photography was invented people have imagined and captured panoramic photography, but it has been since the explosion in use of digital cameras that panorama "streetview" photography has become common.
Panorama photographers have armed themselves with heavy SLR cameras and complicated tripod mounts to capture exquisite images. They then compose them into perfect panoramas using stitching software on Mac or PC. The celebrated quality is demonstrated on pano hosting sites such as www.360cities.net. For people with a real appreciation of time, effort and perfect 360's, this site has a wealth of amazing 360's that you will enjoy.
Common folk have become more accepting though. Google Streetview ubiquity and easy access through Google maps has us all entertained and informed with a quality much less than perfect. Google have even gone to the trouble of blurring faces, number plates and other identifying elements of their Streetview images, notching the quality down further.
In mid 2015, Google redeveloped the integration and branding of Streetview and other panoramas onto Google Maps. The little yellow man at the bottom right of your Google Maps can now be dragged across the maps to view a full range of "Streetview" images including. With all images branded under "Streetview" you can now see:
- Google's own Streetview images
- Google's premium partner "trusted" 360 panorama's (with great quality)
- Images uploaded by pro-amatuer 360 photographers armed with Streetview app on iPhone or Streetview app on Android.
The three are differentiated by colour coding.
The key to Google's new attitude to "all published" enables Google Map users throughout the world to browse and view ALL available 360 streetview and other panorama images they have access to.
For clients of my own 360 panoramas over the years, the latest outlet of published images enables people to step into their businesses more than ever.
The next generation of 360 image use is now upon us - Google, Samsung and other players have released such things as Gear VR
and Google Cardboard
goggles, so that people can use their smartphones to view 360 streetview images in 3D ... the experience makes the experience all too real.
Other 360 hosting sites has popped up offering 360 panorama hosting that works on all browsers, desktops and smart phones for free such as Round.me
. Google and others have gone down the "app" path so you can view 360's on smartphones, while Round.Me does everything in-browser. It's a good alternative.
Given Google's huge investment and inventory of Streetview images, we are sure to see further exciting developments in the field.
Capture of images using Streetview has been made easy and accurate with my unique iClyck smart phone tripod mount. Available from www.iclyck.com, it can be air-mailed anywhere in the world for you to capture accurate and colourful Streetview 360 panoramic photos anywhere you go.Related Links:iClyck.com tripod mountStreetview for AndroidStreetview for iPhone360cities.netRound.me