Frequently Asked Questions
The Sign Up Process
- How can Google Street View help my business?
- Why are businesses being photographed and how can I see the pictures?
- What will the Trusted Photographer do that I can't do myself?
- Where are Trusted Photographers currently active?
- Can a business anywhere in the world apply for a photo shoot?
- Are there any restrictions on what type of businesses can participate?
- What is the relationship between a Trusted Photographer and Google?
- What is the cost to get my business photographed?
- If I apply through this program, am I committed to participate?
The Photo Shoot
- How can I coordinate a photo shoot?
- What do I do if a Trusted Photographer is unavailable or unresponsive?
- How long will the photo shoot take?
- What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot?
- Which areas of my businesses will be photographed?
- Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations?
- Will people be included in the photo shoot?
Privacy and Legal
- What measures are in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance?
- Who from my business can give legal permission for the photo shoot?
- Will Google be using the imagery in other applications besides Google+ Local pages?
- Will the photographer be using the imagery in other applications?
- Do I own the photographs taken by a Trusted Photographer?
- Can I review the photos after they are taken and before they go live on my Google+ Local page?
- Can I blur the images or take down all panoramas from by business listing?
- Could my photos be removed for other reasons?
- If I’m not the business owner, can I request the removal of a photo?
The Sign Up Process
- How can Google Street View help my business? When potential customers search for your business by name on Google, they will see the 360 degree (panograph) tour images displayed directly on the search results page. These panoramic images will also be published on Google+ Local pages, Google Maps, and other Google properties to give customers a better sense of the layout, decor, and beauty of your business interior. You can also link to these images and or tours from your own business website, attracting potential customers who visit your website too.
- Why are businesses being photographed and how can I see the pictures? Google Street View | Trusted photographers are taking high-quality still photographs that will be stitched into 360-degree views using panoramic camera technology. These Trusted Photographers are independent contractors who have been trained and certified by Google to produce high quality panoramic images. As a business owner, you can also upload your own photographs to Google by signing into Google My Business. You'll be able to select or upload the photos to show on your Google+ Local page and your Google search results (assuming your business is not a service).
- What will the Trusted Photographer do that I can't do myself? Trusted Photographers are trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces. The photographers are also certified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounted on tripods) that, once uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines by photographers, will be transformed into 360-degree panoramic imagery and a walk through of your business. Once photographers upload the pictures from their cameras, Google’s processing pipelines use sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other technologies to produce these panoramic walkthroughs.
- Where are Trusted Photographers currently active? Trusted Photographers are scheduling photo shoots with business owners everywhere in the world except China.
- Can a business anywhere in the world apply for a photo shoot? Yes! It's great to see interest from around the world.
- Are there any restrictions on what type of businesses can participate? Currently, we are not connecting tours to the map of most drug paraphernalia (pharmacies are OK), nudity, obscenity, sexually explicit materials, apartments, and occupied homes or homes that can be occupied (model homes and model rooms only).
- What is the relationship between a Trusted Photographer and Google? Trusted Photographers are independent contractors/businesses that are not employed by Google, agents of Google or affiliated with Google in any way. Google has certified them because they meet Google’s standards of quality for taking the feature pictures and panoramic pictures, uploading them, moderating them and eventually publishing them on Google properties.
- What is the cost to get my business photographed? Because Trusted Photographers are not employees or affiliated with Google, they decide how much to charge for their services.
- If I apply through this program, am I committed to participate? No. Once you apply, if and when a Trusted Photographer becomes available in your city, the Trusted Photographer will contact you to discuss details and receive confirmation from you before photographing your business.
The Photo Shoot
- How can I coordinate a photo shoot? First, review the list of Trusted Photographers on this website to see if there is one in your city, and contact them directly to schedule a photo shoot. If you are unable to schedule a photo shoot, or if there is no Trusted Photographer listed for your city, please fill out the online application.
- What do I do if a Trusted Photographer is unavailable or unresponsive? If a Trusted Photographer is unavailable or unresponsive please give us your business and contact details on the Apply Now button. This will contact the a list of photographers automatically for you.
- How long will the photo shoot take? In most cases, a photo shoot will take about two hours, but this varies depending on the size of your business.
- What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot? You are welcome to clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, but remember that the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day. Some suggestions to conceal the personal identities of your staff are masks, big floppy hats, or helmets.
- Which areas of my businesses will be photographed? Photo shoots will include any area you work out with your photographer. By default they focus upon the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with the photographer to determine what areas of your businesses you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot. Once again, the goal of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
- Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations? We know you’re running a business, and that’s why we designed photo shoots to be as non-disruptive as possible. Trusted Photographers will work around your schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you and your business. Photo shoots do not require any sort of special equipment, lighting, or setup, so you are free to stay open. Although photo shoots attempt to be non-disruptive and should not interfere with your normal business operations, it’s a good idea to let your customers know photography is in process and to avoid being in view of the camera, whenever possible. Busy sites may want to consider photography after-hours.
- Will people be included in the photo shoot? Yes, although modelling contracts will be required in order to show your faces. However, you can discuss options with your photographer. During the shoot, photographers may put up a sign and alert customers and employees about to be photographed. As the business owner it would be your responsibility to notify your employees and customers that the photo shoot is taking place.
Privacy and Legal
- What measures are in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance? Photo shoots will exclude any areas of your businesses which you would not like to feature. In addition, our photographers will always alert customers and employees before a photo is taken, to uphold their privacy. At any time you may request additional blurring or removal of entire images through our Report a Problem link at either the bottom of the panograph image, or within your Google+ Local page.
- Who from my business can give legal permission for the photo shoot? You must have the proper authority to allow a Trusted Photographer access to the business premises to collect photographs and to subsequently allow Google to use those photographs in its products and services. People with this authority include the owner of the business or a director or manager with the designation to make those commitments on behalf of the business. WE ALSO NEED PERMISSION FROM THE BUILDING OWNER. Please note that by agreeing to the terms and conditions and the Google Terms of Service, before your photo shoot, you are confirming that you have the authority to make that commitment.
- Will Google be using the imagery in other applications besides Google+ Local pages? Google may use these images in other products and services in new ways that will make your business information more useful and accessible to users. For example, further integration with Google Maps will allow customers to find these images easily from the 360-degree Street View imagery of nearby roads for many locations.
- Will the photographer be using the imagery in other applications? The photographer is allowed to market their own business using your photos. You may deny permission in writing, and the photographer will cease.
- Do I own the photographs taken by a Trusted Photographer? Yes, you will own the photos taken by Trusted Photographers once you have paid for this service and the shoot is completed. Keep in mind that by signing the agreement, provided by the Trusted Photographer, you will also license the use of the photos to Google and to the photographer who will publish the imagery.
- Can I review the photos after they are taken and before they go live on my Google+ Local page? Because of the technology takes individual unstitched and unreviewed images that need considerable processing after they are uploaded by the photographer, to produce the attractive ‘walk-through’ experience, you will not be able to review the images before they are uploaded to Google.
- Can I blur the images or take down all panoramas from by business listing? Yes, if you see a major issue you can ask us to blur some areas in each of the panoramic images. You may also ask us to take down all panoramas. Only your photographer can take down single panoramas. The report link must take down the entire set. To request blurring or removal work with your photographer first to resolve issues. To request removal of all of the panographs at once click on the "Report a Problem" link on the specific images where you see issues and provide the requested information. Please note that the blurring/removal process may take several weeks.
- Could my photos be removed for other reasons? Yes, your photos might be removed if they are found to violate the Google photo policy. Although all business images undergo quality review before being uploaded, some photos may still be reported as inappropriate and later removed. The complete photo policy can be found here.
- If I’m not the business owner, can I request the removal of a photo? Similar to our policy for Street View imagery, our “Report a Problem” tool enables users to request further blurring of images that feature the user in the 360-degree imagery. Users can also request the removal of images that display inappropriate content, and business owners can ask us to remove 360-degree images taken by Trusted Photographers through the “Report a problem” link or the “Report inappropriate photo” link for feature photos.
- Can I embed these images on my business website? Yes, we encourage you to share the walk-through experience of your business with your customers. To embed the 360-degree panoramas on your website the easiest method is to or ask your photographer to show you how. Alternatively, find the HTML snippet from a good point of view of the panoramic imagery on Classic Google Maps, click on the “Link” button , click “customize and preview embedded map,” and then copy and paste the HTML to embed in your website. If you’re looking for even more customizability with your images, check out the Google Maps API.
- Can I have a repeat photo shoot? Yes, you are welcome to engage with a Trusted Photographer and coordinate a repeat shoot as often as you’d like, but it is up to the individual Trusted Photographer to decide the cost. Many businesses who have recently renovated their interiors or that have seasonal decor will request a reshoot. Remember that you can always upload your own up-to-date wide angle photos through Google+ Local as well (panograph updates are not possible by the business owner yet.)