Google Virtual Tours | Frequently Asked Questions
What is Google Street View | Trusted
Google Street View | Trusted provides 360° virtual tours of the interiors of businesses and integrates them onto several Google platforms, including Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Street View. The benefit of having a tour associated with your business page also includes increased page-rank and organic visitors to your website.
How can a Google virtual tour help my business?
We believe the saying holds true: you can't judge a book by its cover. In the same way, you can't judge a store by its outside exterior. But, with a Google tour, your customers along with potential new ones will get a taste of your business before even entering it! This powerful marketing tool takes customer experience to a whole new level, allowing people to get a sense of layout, decor, and the services your business provides. Not only that, your business will be on the forefront with one of the world's most innovative companies in technology!
Who can apply for a Google tour and photography?
Whether you operate a retail store, salon, restaurant, cafe, gym, museum, gallery, office, or any type of business, big or small - we accept all avenues!
Is this the same as Google Maps Street View?
No. Although Google Maps Street View and 'Street View | Trusted' are both owned and operated by Google, they provide two separate services. Street View is a global tool used for mapping, while Street View | Trusted is a marketing tool specifically designed for businesses who seek to better integrate their business online and add an additional customer service experience.
Can I do this myself?
Only certified Google Photographers are permitted to take high-quality panoramic photos for Street View | Trusted. Google Photographers are trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces. The photographers are also qualified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounted on tripods) that, once uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines by photographers, will be transformed into 360-degree panoramic imagery and a walk through of your business. Once photographers upload the pictures from their cameras, Google’s processing pipelines use sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other technologies to produce these panoramic walkthroughs.
We do however encourage business owners to upload their own photographs onto Google with their Google+ page. *Please note that it is mandatory for any business undergoing a Google photo shoot to have a Google+ page. If you do not currently have a Google+ page, we we can work with you to set one up - however we do not own, manage or maintain Google+ pages.
Who owns the photos taken by a Google Qualified Photographer?
You own the photos completely, once the service has been paid for and the photo shoot is completed. However prior to your photo shoot, Isthmus Media Group will provide you with an agreement to review and approve. By signing this agreement, you acknowledge that you will also license the use of the photos to Google who will publish the imagery.
Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations?
We understand that you are running a business, therefore we will work around your schedule to ensure that your business operation endures the least amount of disruption as possible. Although we do not require any special equipment or lighting, it is always recommended to shoot in daylight (especially for those business that face large windows). We also recommend to remind employees and customers that a photo shoot is in progress and to avoid the camera, whenever possible.
Will people be included in the photo shoot?
Our goal is to focus on the interior of your business, that is why we try to eliminate or have as few people in the shots as possible. It can help avoid any privacy issues, as well as prevent photos not matching up when stitching the them together in the development stage. It is your responsibility as the business owner to advise any employees and customers that a photo shoot is in progress.
What areas will be photographed?
We will work with you to determine what areas of the business you wish to photograph. We recommend photographing customer-facing areas, so as to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
How long does the photo shoot take?
In most cases, a photo shoot will take about an hour, but this varies depending on the size of your business. We can also schedule a pre-photo shoot meeting to discuss and review the areas you wish to photograph. This is highly recommended as it will eliminate any setbacks or delays that may occur on the scheduled photo shoot day, it will also provide you with an opportunity to go over any questions you might have.
How much does it cost?
Cost is determined by how many photographs need to be taken. In order to determine that, we need to establish how much area of your business will be photographed. The more area we cover, the more photographs we take. We provide packages depending on how many photographs need to be taken, you can find these services here. If you cannot determine how many photos are needed, we can schedule a pre-photo shoot meeting to determine which package is right for you.
What do I need to prepare for the photo shoot?
It is important to ensure your business is signed up and has its own Google+ page. If you do not have a Google+ page, you can sign up here. Having a Verified business listing is required for publication.
You can also clean up your business prior to the photo shoot, but remember that the aim of the virtual tour is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
Can I review my virtual tour before it goes live?
Currently, an interactive Google tour can only be viewed once it is published.
How will my virtual tour be displayed online?
When customers search your business online, search results will display your website link, any images, Google Maps, and now an image link directing them to a virtual tour of your business. Additionally, customers will be able to tour your business on their mobile devices. (See below)
Yes! We encourage you to showcase and share the walk-through experience with your customers on your own platforms. You'll be provided simple how-to instructions on embedding your tour to your website and Facebook pages.
Can I showcase my tour on my own website?
We respect your business' privacy and the privacy of customers. Therefore any areas you wish not to photograph will be excluded - it is solely your discretion and direction. Our goal is to provide a customer point-of-view experience for your business, however any area that is physically off-limits should also be virtually off-limits. As Google Certified Photographers, I will do my best to alert employees and customers when photographs are being taken in order to respect their privacy. However it is your responsibility as the business owner to advise any employees and customers that a photo shoot is in progress.
In addition, our panoramic imagery is processed with state-of-the-art blurring technology so that any faces which appear in final photos are blurred out. You can also request for additional blurring, and to take down the virtual tour at any time.
Re-shooting Business Tours
Life happens! Schedules change, your decor gets refreshed, new models and features arrive and you want to showcase them. Therefore you can re-shoot your business at anytime. Please note that some costs may apply to re-shoot, depending on the request and reason for re-shooting - we can discuss this directly.