Google’s Business Photos Program has gone live in Europe, offering businesses the ability to allow Google Maps Street View users to see inside their premises with 360-degree photography. It says the service could be a lucrative earning stream for local photographers.
The service launches today in Ireland and the Netherlands. As well as the US, it is already live in France, the UK, New Zealand and Australia.
Google is inviting businesses to take part using one of its third-party photographers with the business paying the photographer for the service.
Google is also looking for third-party photographers to sign up for the programme.
The service has been a significant success in the US and Google is rolling it out in Europe today.
Google has been testing and developing the Business Photos program, which gives users a virtual peek inside businesses through interactive 360-degree imagery.
Just like with Street View, the indoor view of businesses is intuitive to use and users can zoom in on items and look up and down.
Just hire a trusted photographer, Google says
“Through the Business Photos program, if you’re a business owner in any of these locations around the world, getting started is easy," said Gadi Royz, product manager, Google Maps.
"Just hire a trusted photographer in your area to take pictures of your establishment at a time convenient for you. Panoramas are created using the photos, and customers can easily find the resulting panoramic images on Google.com, on Google Maps, and on your Google Places listing," Royz explained.
“This self-service model, introduced several months ago, not only supports talented photographers in your local community, but also gives people who are thinking about visiting your location a sense of what they can expect when they walk through your doors. And if a local photographer isn’t yet available in your neighbourhood, let us know so we can figure out where else to expand the programme.
“And whether you’re a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur, we’d love to have you on board! We are actively recruiting more trusted photographers to bring imagery of more local businesses online for millions across the globe to see," Royz said.