Nearly two years ago, Google introduced Views, a community where anyone could submit their 360-degree photo spheres to share with the world. There are many neat panoramas there, but they don’t get the mileage they could given the photos are separate from Maps and Street View.
This is changing with a new Street View app coming in August, which will allow anyone to submit photo spheres to Maps. Previously, only panoramas made by Google or other contributors would appear on Street View. Meanwhile, existing panoramas from Views will be transferred over to the new experience.
The company is also making it easier to become one of its certified photographers for businesses. The Google Maps Business View will be rebranded as ‘Street View | Trusted,’ and while the company says it will remain focused on supporting high quality images from pro photographers, the new program will have “far more accommodating policies” for uploading and editing.
Views will go offline mid-August. Once that happens, you’ll be able to upload photo spheres right from the Maps website.
Google says the changes are meant to streamline its various maps-related products. It might encourage more people to capture photo spheres too – something particularly important given Google’s recent push in the virtual reality space.