Street View Updates, with or without Google
Google Street View was first introduced in the USA in May 2007. As we presently know, the project got spread out worldwide. In July 2008, the Street View vehicles drove throughout Germany and Google announced which areas were going to be published online.
In August 2010, Google announced that their mapping service would be provided for the 20 largest cities in Germany: Berlin, Bielefeld, Bochum, Bonn, Bremen, Dortmund, Dresden, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Frankfurt am Main, Hamburg, Hannover, Köln, Leipzig, Mannheim, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart and Wuppertal.
From that starting point it became possible to request an image blurring of one’s own house. Google then handed over the blurring requests to be approved by TÜV Rheinland and received subsequently an official Seal of Approval.
In total almost 250,000 requests of blurring came through and had to be processed before the official launch. As Google committed to delete their raw data, these buildings would now appear permanently blurred.
In April 2011, Google announced that their mapping services wouldn’t expand nor update the area covered then in Germany by Street View.
Since August 2017, Google’s camera-mounted vehicles have been driving through Germany again. Their recordings are not published although they are being used to update road maps and MyBusiness business pages. Recordings from 2008 to 2010 are keeping their online.
In Germany, Street View now appears as a journey through past times of metropolitan history because the country is simply not covered. Elsewhere it is possible to travel all over Europe through updated Street View material and even so throughout remote regions.
360-up – Google Street View Trusted
As one of the first Google Street View certified companies in Germany, 360-up has successfully released Street View tours of businesses since July 2013. And ever since that moment we have been asked by businesses to update the exterior views of their corporate location on Street View. We are referring to the over-regulation and clarify the situation we’ve briefly described as it does not exist elsewhere in Europe and the whole world.
Entrepreneurs have a growing understanding that it is now considered counterproductive to float in the midst of a digital Stone Age, and therefore requests for solutions are piling up. No company wants to see the front image of their store outdated from 2008 showing online on today’s company profile. 360-up’s product managers are staying alert and have already implemented a first Street View lookalike during the summer of 2017.
Solutions to outdated street view images from 360-up since 2017
How did we make it? Marcus, Nils and other professionals booked a houseboat in the Media Harbour of Düsseldorf. On the roof of the houseboat, a giant tripod was anchored down by 360-up, fitted with various 360° special cameras and accessories, then brought to a height of about 10 meters. During that boat trip over the Rhine, an enormous amount of 360 degrees panoramas was taken, each with its very own GPS data. The boat tour started from the Media Harbour down the Rhine, along the Düsseldorf Rhine promenade and up to the level of Messe Düsseldorf. The distance was about 7,5 kilometres long.
During our post-production workflow our updated data material is processed and as a result access is granted to the river cruise positions in panoramic views through an open source map. We call it Street View Made in Germany and it is performed without any foreign know-how or Google technologies.
Solutions to outdated street view images from 360-up since 2018
360-up’s technicians are on the track again, this time on foot and up on a Segway PT Personal Transporter. Marcus Mitter from 360-up, walks across the Königsallee in Düsseldorf wearing a special backpack fully equipped with a high-resolution 360°-video camera, GPS trackers and some more specific hardware.
A 360°-video is produced with an impressive 8K resolution. This time the path taken went from Graf-Adolf-Strasse, all along through one of the most famous luxury shopping streets in Europe and up to the Köbogen Avenue, right at the other end of the “luxury mile”.
The reason for this production of ours? As a test for the release of Street View updates, directly published on Google Earth and usable as a Google Maps link. It proved to be a success and it efficiently works. Today the Kö-Walk can be accessed directly from the search screen on Google Earth, and it can evolve and expand.