Initially to be offered in London and Paris
A pilot project has been started by Google to allow users via its Maps Street View service to view interior images of shops and other businesses found on its maps.
The new pilot is an extension of Google’s Street View technology, which already enables users to get an all round view of exterior from shops to restaurants and other buildings.
The search giant is planning to launch the new service in London and Paris, and will further include other cities in the US, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.
A company spokesperson said that the new service was on a completely voluntary basis that would enable businesses to highlight the qualities through professional, high quality imagery that make them stand out.
As per the new scheme, photographers from Google will visit the interested businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, shops, gyms and vehicle repair shops to do a photoshoot of 360-degree images using fish-eye and wide-angle lenses as well as stills.
According to Google, the business owners are required to inform its customers and employees about the photoshoot, and the search engine promises to blur images of bystanders or will not publish images that contain them.
Google said that the photographs and images used for this new service will become exclusive property of the search giant and may be used for other applications.