The Photospheres feature has been a photographic novelty thus far, but today Google Maps has added some notable functionality. The Views section of Google Maps already lets you place your own 360-degree panorama on specific points in the world, but now you can connect them via virtual paths, creating an instant, locale-specific Street View. Other users can then view it and move between multiple Photospheres for a more complete experience.


This is a great way for users to add Street View capabilities to locations where Google's shutterbug vehicles can't normally go, like hiking trails or inside buildings. (Not that this has stopped Google before.) Once multiple Photospheres are connected via virtual paths, or "constellations," users can "walk" between them in the same way that they already use Street View. The process is a little complicated - here's a breakdown of the management on a Google support page.

Though you can use an Android device or a standard camera to create a Photosphere, it looks like you can only see these user-submitted Street View additions on the web at the moment. Bummer. On the plus side, these new user-created Street Views can be embedded on the web just like any map.

We'd give you a Street View of the Android Police central offices, but at present those stretch across about 3,000 miles. It would take a bit of doing.

Source: Google Maps blog

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Josh Flowers

    "We'd give you a Street View of the Android Police central offices, but at present those stretch across about 3,000 miles. It would take a bit of doing."
    ...I've got time.

    • http://thegumshoe.com/ Michael Crider

      @josh_flowers:disqus Say, is that the same Josh Flowers I went to Texas A&M with?

      • Xes

        No, you perv stalker.

      • Aggie Fan

        An Aggie? Here?! My day has been made. Haven't been, but fan of the team. Suck it, Longhorns!

      • Josh Flowers

        ha, nope. HighPoint.

  • Brian

    Photosphere Capture needs to be released to the Play Store for this to actually take off. I am moving from a Nexus 4 to a Moto X and I think that will be the one feature I will miss :(

    • anmolm97

      Move to a Nexus 5, instead

      • Brian Stein

        Don't wanna

        • anmolm97

          Why would anyone not want to move to a Nexus 5?

          • Magneira

            Because the battery life sucks, not everyone wants a huge phone and the moto x adtions like driving mode and active notifications are one of the best things on the mobile space right now.

          • Brian Stein

            lol how incredibly narrow-minded..

    • Roemraw

      Always assumed that the moto X had this feature.
      Maybe with the update to the camera API (RAW format etc) they will release their camera app in the playstore?

    • Merri Mogridge

      You can just install the Nexus Gallery apk and still have the functionality. Although you will have to get rid of the Moto X one first. I take lots of photospheres on my old HTC Sensation!

      • Brian Stein

        I realize that this will most likely be MY solution. But the point I was trying to make was if they want a lot of people making these and adding to the database, they are going to need it in the hands of more people.

        Side loading apps isn't the answer...

    • TedPhillips

      focal is an open source camera app that can take photosphere's in google's format (which is a public spec).
      it's on the playstore, (and was part of the cyanogenmod going inc. dustup)

      i haven't tried it in a long while, it was a bit rough when i used it on my nexus 4. I hear it's improved. at some point soon, i'll be revisiting what camera app i use and i'll test it again.

    • Guest

      install the nexus camera apk & use it on the moto X. I've done so on my Galaxy S4 & Note 3 & both have worked flawlessly for photospheres.