Insta360 today released an update for its pro-level 360 camera, allowing users to mount the Insta360 Pro on a vehicle and take advantage of a dedicated workflow for smooth, simple contributions to Google Maps’ growing Street View map of the world.
Among the camera’s Street View-specific features are a 5 frames-per-second (FPS) shooting mode that’s perfect for capturing a series of closely- spaced 360 snapshots from atop a car, and a built-in Street View publishing feature in the Insta360 Stitcher software.
“The majority of 360 imagery on Google Maps was captured by Google’s fleet of camera-equipped vehicles, but the world changes quickly, so there’s always more to cover,” said Charles Armstrong, Street View product manager. “With the Insta360 Pro, it’s easy for anyone to extend Street View coverage on their own, whether it’s to document an updated storefront or share an immersive adventure across the globe.”
The Insta360 Pro is the first camera to be certified by Google as “Street View ready,” and it’s recognized by Google as being among the most capable cameras on the market.
Photographers can also use the Insta360 Pro as a convenient, reliable way to become part of Google’s trusted photographer program, which recognizes creators with a proven track record of high-quality Street View submissions. Trusted photographers earn access to exclusive marketing and exposure privileges as they help businesses improve visibility on Google Maps.
How It Works
With GPS module connected, users can mount the Insta360 Pro on the roof of their car, and then begin recording with the dedicated 8K, 5 FPS shooting mode as they drive smooth, paved roads (this setup is not intended for rough roads or trail driving).
After they’ve cruised around to their hearts’ content, users can simply import this footage into the free Insta360 Stitcher software. The software automatically stitches together images captured by the Pro’s six lenses into a fully spherical, 360 video, and a new upload module allows users to publish their footage directly to Street View as soon as it’s stitched.
Once uploaded, Google’s system will automatically recognize the 5 FPS video, convert it into a series of evenly spaced 360 photos, and then embed these photos into the Street View map at the appropriate locations, based on the associated GPS data. Published images can be explored via Google Maps’ Street View app (Android, iOS) or through the Google Maps mobile and desktop apps.