In May, Google unveiled the ‘Street View ready’ program that will certify a total of twenty 360-degree cameras for capturing Street View footage, and the first was just named. The Insta360 Pro, an 8K 360-degree camera available to consumers, was given Google’s official stamp of approval yesterday; this means that anyone who purchases this $3,500 camera can use it to capture their own 360-degree footage for inclusion in Google’s Street View product.
The Insta360 Pro falls under Google’s “Street View auto ready” category, which means it is certified for use in capturing Street View footage from a vehicle—camera owners can actually attach the Insta360 Pro to their car and record 360-degree images while driving. The resulting footage is then processed by the camera’s Stitcher desktop software and uploaded to Google using the Street View app. Google can then use the imagery in the Street View app, on Google Earth, and/or on Google Maps with credit going to the individual who captured the images.
This is done on an entirely voluntary basis, meaning there’s no compensation for capturing the content. Content shared by users may help Google fill any voids in its existing Street View library.
Another three cameras will be certified under the ‘auto’ category in the Street View ready program, while the other cameras will fall under mobile, VR, and workflow categories. These categories certify cameras for uploading Street View imagery directly from mobile, from publishing tools, and for VR systems.