Hi there! Thanks for landing here, I am one among millions of Google Local Guides contributing together to make your navigation easier and convenient.
This post is about how I started capturing 360 photos, shared them through Google Street View app and slowly met the requirements to be enlisted as a Trusted Street View Photographer. I will try to write in very simpler words and in a plain way. 😀
Before a year, I used to randomly add places, review them or make custom maps on Google Maps. I wasn’t aware of the Local Guides Contributor in Google Maps.
One day, I came to know about this by a mail in my Gmail inbox and then … the real journey started. I attended a Nepal Local Guides Sumit 2017, at Nagarkot, Nepal on June 4, 2017.
I have written about how I started contributing to Google Maps, how it felt like in initial days and what inspired me to do better and about the Summit in this post: Google Local Guides – National Summit 2017 Nepal. You might be interested to read! 😀
Before that summit, I have seen 360 photos and videos on Facebook and always wondered how could such photos be captured. Facebook app supported 360 photos, and rotating/ moving the phone would change the image’s view. This was indeed fascinating!
It was in the Local Guides Summit that I came to learn about Google Street View app, 360 photos and videos. In that summit, discussions were about how to take better 360 photos, different aspects about it, trusted street-view photographers in Nepal and so on.
I was amazed at how one of our Local Guide was shooting 360 photos there in Nagarkot with his mobile phone and taking several photos, and rotating and pointing the camera up, down and sideways. 😀
Later, being home I downloaded the Street View app and explored other’s photos. I didn’t try to shoot any as shooting inside a room wouldn’t be that perfect.
A few days later, me and my friend, went to Bhaktapur Durbar Square to learn and take 360 photos! He taught me how to take better shots! So, I used my mobile phone (iPhone 5) and opened the Street View app, then the camera and started capturing the dots as the app suggested.
It took quite a lot of time to complete all the dots. I learned that camera should be held at the position of the head and moved across different directions and sideways so that all the views are captured. The app would later stitch the different images combining to form a single image! This is a super cool part of the app.
Below is my first 360 photo captured through Street View app, which is published on Google Maps. It was on June 10, 2017.
I captured some more 360 images that day! You can check my images at Google Maps!
Then, I used to capture some 360 photos later whenever time and mood favoured. I tried capturing from Samsung S4 but there used to be many images with the black incomplete part during stitching or were missed while capturing, I rarely faced such problem with iPhone.
Few weeks before there were about 24 published and approved 360 photos on Street View app.
I thought it would take long and long to reach to 50 photos. But by the grace of God, I happened to get a Samsung Gear 360 Camera from my friend and rest is what you are reading. 😀
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Capturing 360 photos from a mobile phone takes a couple of minutes and you need repeatedly keep moving your body and camera to capture all the directions. But a dedicated 360 camera does this in few seconds.
I captured some images of popular places around my locality and coincidentally had to visit Hattiban Resort, Pharping for Himalayan Outdoor Festival 2018 for official works. And captured some more images there and captured some more while returning around Araniko Highway. So, I had published 52 photos through Street View app on Google Maps.
Today, before returning back to home from work, I happened to open Street View app and saw:
Happiness! Excitement! 😀
And as of now, there are about 15 listed Professional Street View Photographers in Official Google Street View page. Hope to be listed there soon. I have already submitted the form, let’s see! 🙂
I will be writing more about Street View Photography, Google Maps and Local Guides in this blog site. I am also thinking of how-to tutorial video on Street View Photography, do subscribe to my youtube channel Knowledge Server Plus.
Thanks for your time! 🙂