Last year, Google started letting people upload their own 360-degree photo spheres to Google Maps’ Street View — a collection of 360-degree images within Google Maps. In June, users were able to collect and share their photo spheres via Google's Views site. Now, users can create their own connected photo sphere tours in Views and share them in Street View. That's a whole lot of Google speak, but essentially, Google's expanding its efforts to add more and more crowdsourced imagery to its Google Maps database.
Unlike the practical applications of Google Maps for directions or live traffic reports, Google says it has a more poetic aim for Street View.
"We are trying to inspire people to go out and explore," said Evan Rapoport, Product Manager of Google Maps and Photo Sphere, in a telephone interview with Connect. "If a single photograph and a single photographer can be so powerful, what will happen when we give thousands photographers these incredible tools?"
View Larger Map
Google has been sending out Trekkers — hikers with special camera backpacks — to go places its cars, bikes and snowmobiles can't. After launching the Trek program, Google received a lot of requests for more mapping of users' favorite places around the world. It answered by inviting users to share more of their own images created using Photo Sphere.
"We don’t have tens of thousands of Trekkers," said Rapoport. "We’re really opening up the tools to everyone so they can still contribute."
Users can now connect their photo spheres into navigable "constellations" using Google's Views site. This is done easily with Android-created photo spheres which have location tags, though photo spheres can also be compiled from other digital images as long as you add photo sphere XMP metadata. When made public, these connected photo spheres become virtual tours inside Google Maps' Street View, also known as a "Street View experience."
"A typical cell phone is not going to be able to capture the top of the castle all the way down," said Rapoport, referencing his Street View contribution of an Irish castle tour. "With this, not only can you take a 360-degree photo sphere, but you can also take wide angle shots that can mimic an 18mm lens."
View Larger Map
Since Google made the tool public yesterday, people are already uploading their own connected photo spheres from around the world, including this one of Tiber Island in Rome, Italy. Rapoport expects more people to use the new feature to share images from hiking destinations, neighborhood parks and exotic destinations, though the Google Street View team is cautious about inappropriate use of the public uploading.
"Google Views, like Google+, has a community of photographers and there are some images that may be appropriate to share with your community, but shouldn't be public," Rapoport said.
|Montréal Dépaneur Out of Business DP by MarioSS|
from Your City - Out of Business
|Wish You Were Here by Dutch Newchurch|
from Street musician playing
|Flight of a Puffin by cjf2|
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.
Photographer Josselin Cornou tells the breathtaking story behind two beautiful photos captured while snorkeling with humpback whales in Tonga.
The Sony RX10 IV is a fixed lens camera with a 1"-type sensor and 24-600mm equivalent lens that can shoot 4K video or stills at 24 fps, but that's not what we think is interesting about it. The addition of phase detection autofocus is pivotal to all those features.
The announcement date is set! Google will reveal their next generation Pixel phones—their response to Apple's shiny new iPhone X—on October 4th. Let the smartphone camera wars begin.
Sony just debuted three palm-style 4K camcorders that steal a bit of speedy phase detect autofocus technology from the company's RX10 IV. In fact, they kind of improve on it.
Earlier today, NASA's Cassini spacecraft plunged into Saturn's atmosphere, ending a 20 year long mission. Here are 21 of our favorite photographs captured by this incredible machine and its makers.
Fans of film photography should keep an eye out for the widespread theatrical release of Kodachrome, a movie staring Jason Sudeikis about the final days of the iconic film stock.
Photographer Manny Ortiz breaks down the pros and cons of shooting natural light vs off-camera flash, and explains why he chooses to shoot one, the other, or both in any given situation.
A leaked product page and a bunch of leaked photos shows Profoto is preparing to release its first ever speedlight: the Profoto A1 Air TTL
The Yashica camera brand disappeared in 2003, but a new teaser video and website hint at a comeback. Excited?
Western Digital just debuted a new, higher capacity WD Gold internal hard drive. The new drive offers 12TB of storage and class-leading reliability to the tune of a 550TB/year workload rating.