Google has made it easier for you to make your own Street View and you can now even do it with a Cell Phone.
We do a lot with Google in our GooVR™ system but this information is here for a Do-it-Yourself intro.
Shooting 360o photos with a smartphone is easy. Whether you own an Android or iOS device, you can download the Google Street View app from Google Play or the AppStore. The process is almost the same on both operating systems.
Create or import 360 photos
> Open the Street View app.
> Tap Create.
> In the bottom right, tap Camera.
> Take the photos. It will show you where to point the camera for the next shot.
> At the bottom, tap Done.
Your 360 photo is stitched together and saved in the "Private" tab on your phone. The photo is also saved on your phone (unless you turned this setting off).
Install the app and pick an interesting spot to try it. After a few screens with tips and welcome messages, you'll arrive at the homepage. Click on the "Camera" icon at the bottom-right.
After selecting "Camera" you'll be taken to the camera screen. The app will guide you through the capture process. The user has to stand still, hold the device in the right position, point the camera at the dot, and hit all the orange circles appearing on the screen.
It works much better with a tripod and even then, larger tripods will be visible at the bottom. Also make sure you camera is 100% level in all directions before shooting.
At this point the app has already begun "stitching" the images to create the 360o panorama. The process is indicated by an orange loading bar at the bottom of the screen. As soon as the process is completed, the app will notify you by indicating that you 360o photo is "ready to publish."
You are able to preview the raw version of the image in both Android and iOS devices, there are some differences in how you access them.
Android users will need to press the "private tab" on your image and press the "share icon", and choose "share privately", then save image or send it using you gmail app.
You can hold your phone vertically or horizontally, your choice, depending upon what your viewing audience will be. But you cannot switch once started.
Try a few different ones.
You will find that it takes some skill to make a good 360o video from street view. You may initially make some mistakes when pointing to some of the dots by moving a little bit too much, but after a few attempts you will come out with a good one. It may require some patience.
Street view is designed to be used in open areas with objects far away. For that reason it's a good idea when doing indoor shots to have a better quality camera or one of the later smart phones with the better camera and a wider view.
When you end up with the end product you like, send it to us and we'll do our magic.
You can do this on your own, as you saw above.
What you can't do in street view is make quality videos inside, or make calls outs and links to other areas, post your menu on the video, put a video in the video, transition to a different scene like a different room, link to other websites, etc.
The other thing that's Very difficult to do is make the video as a stand alone so you can view it on your website, on a smart phone, from your text or email, etc.
GooVR™ is the next evolution in Virtual Tours because like several other products, we make it Business Friendly for use as a Marketing Tool for your business.
One thing about using Street View, it Always works best with a tripod. The link below is one I did of my office and you can see some of the distortion as apparently I moved the camera.
Also, note at the bottom, you can see my feet.
In this option for GooVR™, you shoot your tour (or tours,) load to Google, then we we pull it off Google and do our magic.
We are currently working with Google to come up with a system where we can download your tour (or tours,) then put everything in our system. This will be ideal if you are far away from us and we cannot bring out our 360o camera.
We do have different photographers across the country that can shoot it for you at a price, but the You-Shoot-We-Publish option can work and save you some money.
We also have a system where you shoot with a still camera, taking a series of shots at our direction, and we 'stitch' them with our special software.