Google Street view was the first interactive 360 experience that went mainstream, now its impossible to imagine a world where I can’t explore a random street in New York from the comfort of my London home. Hundreds of millions of people use street view, so it’s not surprising that many are keen to contribute to this huge repository of 360 images. Thankfully it’s now easier than ever to add your own images to Google Street View and you can get started for less than $200.
Don’t believe me? Here’s my Street View profile that has racked up nearly 1 million views, all with photos taken by a 360 camera that now costs $125
The number of cheaper, consumer 360 cameras has exploded in the past few years, meaning there are now many options to choose from if you want a simple, all in one solution for shooting 360 images. If you want a 360 camera specifically for uploading to Google street view there are definitely some options that are better than others. Google has minimum requirements for uploading 360 images onto its street view platform, so you’ll need to make sure you have a camera that meets their standards.
Google have actually created 4 categories for the types of cameras it recommends for street view photography:
- Street View mobile ready: 360 cameras that can publish Street View directly from a mobile app—without requiring a desktop workflow
- Street View auto ready: 360 cameras tailored for vehicle-based collection with the highest accuracy
- Street View vr ready: 360 cameras or systems that collect geometry in addition to generating sets of connected 360 photos
- Street View workflow ready: Publishing tools (sometimes bundled with cameras) that can upload to Street View accounts
If a 360 camera is compatible with Google Street view it will be certified under one of these categories, but at long as its certified under one of them you can be sure it works with Street View.
Lets simplify things a bit. I’m going to suggest 5 360 camera for creating Street View images, I’ll show you how much they cost, the quality of the 360 images and how easy the camera is to use. Some of the cameras are very expensive and some are very cheap, the more expensive ones are for professionals, however even the cheaper ones are good enough to get you Certified as a trusted photographer by Google