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Google Street View Gets a New App -- And a Camera to Snap Your Own Street Views

When I grow up, I want to be a Google Street View car.


Most users of Google Maps know about its option to view street-level panoramic images and about the Street View cars that have meticulously captured those photos. Now it’s your turn.

A new version of the Google Street View app will let users take their own Street View “photo spheres” and share them online. Although it’s possible to do this by moving a phone around a scene, a dedicated 360-degree camera may be faster and higher quality. Similar to its virtual reality partnership with GoPro, Google won’t be selling one of those cameras itself, but the search giant is supporting Japanese electronics company Ricoh’s soon-to-launch device, the Ricoh Theta S.

 The Ricoh Theta S
The Ricoh Theta S

Jim Malcolm, the president of Ricoh’s American imaging wing, said the Theta S will cost $350 when it launches in late October and can produce a spherical 14-megapixel image from the data sensed by two 190-degree lenses. In addition to Google Street View, the camera and its companion mobile app will be able to publish to YouTube 360, various social networks and Ricoh’s own media site.

In addition to capturing new angles on the outdoor scenes that Street View cars have snapped, Google and Ricoh are expecting that users will use the new app and camera to capture “landscapes, landmarks, [and] business interiors.” Malcolm noted that one of the most popular uses for Ricoh’s previous cameras has been suspending them from drones to capture 360-degree pictures and video.

Also supported by the new Street View is the iris360, a $2,000 professional camera set to ship in October to those who preordered.

A long-running service called Google Business View, which dispatched professional photographers to businesses to take spherical pictures to post on Google Street View, will be renamed Street View Trusted. A Google spokesperson said the service will continue as it has in the past, but that Google will make it easier for businesses to enroll in the program.

This article originally appeared on

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