Virtual Tour FAQ’s
Google Business Photos
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
How does the Business Photos program help my business?
When potential customers search for your business by name on Google, they will see the images displayed directly on the search page results. These panoramic images will also be published on Google Place pages, Google Maps, and other Google properties to give customers a better sense of the layout, decor, and beauty of your business interior. Using easy-to-use html snippets or Maps API, you can also link to these images from your own business website too.
Why are businesses being photographed and how can I see the pictures?
Google Trusted Photographers are taking high-quality still photographs that will be stitched into 360-degree views using panoramic camera technology. These Trusted Photographers are independent contractors who have been trained and certified by Google to produce high quality panoramic images. As a business owner, you can upload your own photographs to Google by signing into google places. You’ll be able to see the photos and 360-degree panoramic imagery directly on Google search results and your Place page.
What will the Trusted Photographer do that I can’t do myself?
Trusted Photographers are trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces. These photographers are also certified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounts 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.
What is the relationship between a Trusted Photographer and Google?
Trusted Photographers are independent contractors/businesses that are not employed by Google, agents of Google or affiliated with Google in any way. Google has certified them because they have meet Google’s standards of quality for taking the feature pictures and panoramic pictures,uploading them, moderating them and eventually publishing them on Google properties.
What is the cost to get my business photographed?
Because Trusted Photographers are not employees or affiliated with Google, they decide how much to charge for their services. We expect the Trusted Photographers to offer their services at a fair market value, and you may negotiate with them to come to an acceptable price for the service. Prior to any photo shoot, the Trusted Photographer will present the service agreement specifying their services for you acceptance. The agreement also spells out (among other things) that, in return for payment to the Trusted Photographer, you will own the images that have been taken.
How long will the photo shoot take?
In most cases, a photo shoot will take about an hour, but it varies depending on the size of your business.
What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot?
You are welcome to clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, but remember the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
Which areas of the business will be photographed?
Photo shoots will include the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with the photographer to determine which areas of your business you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot. Once again, the goal of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.
Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations?
We know you are running a business, and that’s why we designed photo shoots to be as non-disruptive as possible. Trusted photographers will work around our schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you and your business. Photo shots do not require any sort of special equipment, lighting, or setup, so you are free to stay open. Although photo shoots are non-disruptive and should not interfere with your normal business operations, it’s a good idea to let your customers know photography is in process and to avoid being in view of the camera whenever possible. (Michael is very flexible and if you prefer we can schedule the photo shoot before you open or after you close – that’s not a problem)
Will Google be using this imagery in other applications besides Places pages?
Goole may use these images in other products and services in new ways that will make your business information more useful and acceptable to users. For example. further integration with GoogleMaps will allow customers to find these images from the 360-degree Street View imagery of nearby roads for many locations.
Do I own the photographs taken by a Trusted Photographer?
Yes, you will own the photos taken by Trusted Photographers once you have paid for this service and he shoot is completed. Keep in mind that by signing the agreement,provided by the TrustedPhotographer, you will also license the images to Google who will publish the imagery.
Can I review the photographs after they are taken and before they go live on my Place page?
Because of the technology takes individual unstitched and unreviewed images that need considerable processing after they are uploaded by the Trusted Photographer to produce the attractive ‘walk-through’ experience,you will not be able to review the images before they are uploaded to Google.
Can I embed these images on my business website, Google+ Page or Facebook Page?
Yes,we encourage you to share the walk-through experience of your business with your customers. To embed the 360-degree panoramas on your website, simply find the HTML snippet from a good point of view of the panoramic imagery on Google Maps, lick on the “Link” button, click “customize and preview embedded map,” and then copy and paste the HTML to embed your website. If you are looking for even more customizability with your images, check out the Google Maps API.