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Google details Street View certification program covering cameras and software

google street view certification program maps with exhibit at the computer history museum
Christophe Wu
Google has detailed a new initiative that’s intended to ease the process of uploading imagery to its Street View service. The company’s Street View certification standard will help anyone who is eager to contribute to the service choose software and hardware that’s fit for the job.

Twenty new 360-degree cameras that are certified by the program are set to be made available over the course of 2017, according to a post on the Google blog. Sphericam, Z CAM, Giroptic, and Insta360 are among the manufacturers fielding the first wave of devices to be approved by Google.

The Street View certification standard covers four different strands. Street View mobile-ready devices are 360-degree cameras that are capable of publishing directly to the service via an app, without the need for a desktop computer as part of the user’s workflow.

Street View auto-ready cameras are designed to be attached to a vehicle, and offer optimal results for contributors who plan to capture imagery as they drive, cycle, or even ride on horseback. Street View VR-ready devices can capture geometry as well as static images that can be stitched together, streamlining the creation of a Street View scene that can be viewed with a virtual reality headset.

Finally, Street View workflow-ready software will help users upload their content to their Street View accounts. Some of these tools are set to be bundled with Street View-certified cameras.

Street View launched in 2007 as an expansion of a Stanford University research project that got underway in 2001. Google’s new certification standard should ensure that the service continues to update its imagery for years to come.

More information on upcoming Street View ready cameras and software is expected to come out of the Street View Summit, which is being held on May 10 and 11 in Tokyo.

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