For many of us, the Street View name is linked to a convenient way to look around at places we haven't been, whether it's just an address we're about to drive to or one of the world's greatest mountains. We don't usually associate it with making money, but a lot of businesses have started investing in virtual tours to attract more customers. For a few years, Google has been working to help businesses pair up with independent photographers and agencies to capture scenery for potential visitors. The interface for this was entirely web based, but now it looks like some of the operations will soon become available through the Street View app itself. Before we get into the teardown portion, there is actually a new feature that can already be used in this release: a blur tool.

What's New

Official Changelog:

  • Blur parts of not-yet-published photos
  • Bug fixes

Blur Tool

2016-06-03 19.59.212016-06-03 20.00.352016-06-03 20.00.47

If you've looked through Street View enough, it's hard not to notice a few things like license plates and faces have been blurred. Google does this automatically to maintain privacy for the general public. The algorithm isn't perfect, so Google makes some manual edits, as well. Sometimes us regular users also have to make some changes before submitting images, and now there's a tool for that.

A new step in the image submission process shows up just before a photosphere can be uploaded to Google. You can now manually blur out parts of photos that deserve a little quick censorship. Just press and hold on the image to create a box at the location to be blurred. Another long-press on a rectangle opens a prompt to delete it. Multiple rectangles can be added or removed from a single scene before it is published.

Teardown

Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android's application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it's officially announced and released.

The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don't expect to see these features if you install the apk.

Trusted Street View Photographers

Google operates a program called Street View Trusted Photographers where photographers can get certified to do professional work for display on Street View and Google Maps. Once certified, a profile will receive the "Trusted" badge (pictured below) and will be listed on a page with other photographers.

trusted_badge

The program has been around since 2010, originally with the name Google Business Photos, but has since been rebranded a few times. It started with just a focus on high quality photos, but has since grown to include virtual tours with 360-degree photos and a full walkthrough experience.

New text in the Street View app shows that it's about to become an interface for professionals to apply for the Trusted Photographers program and perform some basic tasks.

strings

<string name="settings_trusted_title">Available for hire</string>
<string name="trusted_signup_headline">Get listed as a professional for hire</string>
<string name="trusted_signup_subtext">"You've met the requirements to be trusted by Street View. Join now to get a badge and be listed as a photographer/agency for hire in Google products."</string>
<string name="trusted_info_title">Professional for hire</string>
<string name="trusted_info_description">A proven photographer or agency, trusted by Street View</string>
<string name="trusted_signup_success_message">"Congratulations! You're now a trusted Street View photographer"</string>
<string name="trusted_signup_error_message">"Something went wrong and your request couldn't be completed. Please try again"</string>
<string name="trusted_for_hire_text">Get listed as a photographer for hire</string>

The actual management capabilities look fairly limited. For the moment, the only feature in the works is the capability to transfer the ownership rights of photos from your own account to another, presumably that of a buyer.

If a transfer is made, the images will remain in the original account and continue to be attributed to the photographer. Oddly, if the images are transferred again, the photographer's attribution is lost. Maybe somebody can explain that to me, because I can't think of a good reason to strip out the creator automatically in a transfer.

strings

<string name="message_transfer_rights">Transfer rights</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_dialog_body_start">Transfer rights to</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_dialog_body_edit_text">"Enter recipient's email"</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_succeeded">Your transfer request has been sent</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_partial_succeeded">Your transfer request has been sent for %1$d of %2$d images</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_failed">Unable to transfer. Please try again later.</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_email_invalid">"This email address isn't associated with a Google account"</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_email_format_invalid">This is not a valid email address format</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_pending_status">Pending transfer</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_exceeding_limit_warning">Sorry, you have too many transfer requests outstanding.</string>
<string name="transfer_rights_pending_toast">Transfer pending. Any outstanding transfers for the same content will be cancelled.</string>
<plurals name="transfer_rights_dialog_body_end">
<item quantity="other">"By transferring these %d photos, you're granting a permanent license to the rights of the photos. Copies will still appear in your profile. The photos will continue to be attributed with your name and profile on Maps, unless the new owner transfers rights to someone else."</item>
<item quantity="one">"By transferring this photo, you're granting a permanent license to the rights of the photo. A copy will still appear in your profile. The photo will continue to be attributed with your name and profile on Maps, unless the new owner transfers rights to someone else."</item>
</plurals>

Upload capabilities are already a part of Street View and Maps for regular users and professionals alike, but the practical usefulness of a management interface seems a little out of place for the pros. Perhaps this is a solution for people in countries where it's less common to own a computer and a mobile device is the only tool available. Alternatively, it may be a step toward allowing less-experienced photogs to pick up a few extra bucks.

There is probably quite a bit more to come for this section in the future. Uploading and managing content requires quite a bit more than what's currently available in the Street View app, so it's a safe bet this app is going to grow even more interesting very soon.

trusted_background

Local Guides In Street View

local_guide_background

This is more of a mention than a major item, but the Local Guides program is also coming to Street View in some capacity. For now, it appears to be just a promo to encourage people to join and start contributing, but it wouldn't be surprising to see some of the features from Google Maps make the jump to Street View, as well.

strings

<string name="local_guide_info_title">Local Guide</string>
<string name="local_guide_info_description">One who helps others discover new places</string>
<string name="local_guide_signup_headline">Become a Local Guide</string>
<string name="local_guide_signup_subtext">Join our community of explorers and unlock cool rewards like Drive storage and event invitations.</string>
<string name="join_now_button_text">Join Now</string>
<string name="join_local_guides_button_text">Join Local Guides</string>

There are also a couple of images, including the big hero image at the top of this section and the profile badge just below, which means we're sure to see profiles for other local guides in Street View soon.

product_logo_local_guides_badge_color_48

Download

The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.

Version: 2.0.0.123800819 (25565)