The Google Maps Moonshot: Creating a Digital Mirror of the World

For sheer scale, Google’s involvement in panoramic imaging is unrivaled. At the IVRPA Las Vegas 2014 conference they will be reaching out to get in direct touch with a broader audience of established panoramic photographers to present their goals for the future and to discuss how the passion and commitment we share for the same subject can be used to generate a greater benefit for everyone. One part will be the talk of Evan Rapoport, Product Manager on Google Maps for Photo Sphere, Business Views, & Google Street View.

At Google Maps, we believe in inspiring people to explore the beauty of the planet, whether virtually or physically. With Street View, we’ve created a comprehensive and accurate collection of panoramic photography that spans more than 3,000 cities across 55 countries, as well as parts of the Arctic and Antarctica (featuring penguins!). From the forests of national parks to the depths of the oceans to the streets of bustling cities to the small businesses in your own neighborhood, our Street View team has traveled the globe to celebrate and document the places we all cherish.

But we’re just getting started… and we need your help.

Even after all the travels we’ve done in Street View, we still have a long way to go to truly help people see all the  wonders of our planet. And, the world is constantly changing; the rising and setting of the sun, the coming and going of seasons, and the expansion and rebuilding of our cities. This all means our work on Street View will never be complete as we constantly strive to have accurate and comprehensive coverage.

To scale our efforts, Street View has undergone an evolution as we’ve empowered other people to contribute to the panoramic photography experience on Google Maps.

  • With Google Maps Business View we look to professional photographers to work with local businesses.
  • In our Trekker Loan Program, we train organizations and then hand over our Street View backpack to map out trails, bike paths, beaches, and anywhere their feet may take them.
  • With Photo Sphere, we are introducing panoramic photography to a whole new generation by making the technology available on mobile phones.
  • And with Views, we are enabling anyone with 360 degree panoramas to create their own Street View experiences to share with over one billion people who use Google Maps.