Google Street View is one of our favorite parts of Google Maps. You may have seen one of the Street View cars taking 360 degree photos of the streets in your city, but did you know that it is possible to upload your photos to Google Maps? There are two ways to do this, one of which is much easier than the other.
Submitting a photo sphere is the best way to contribute to Google Maps. They are exactly as they sound. Photospheres are 360 degree views of an area. You can use a 360 degree camera to create one or use the specially designed camera app in the Street View app. For some phones, this is the only way to capture 360 degree photos. Phones like the Pixel have a photosphere mode in the built-in camera app.
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You can create a photosphere with your Pixel phone’s camera app, like the Google Pixel 5a. You can also create a photosphere with any of the best Android phones using the Google Street View app.
How to Submit Your Own Street View Images to Google Maps (The Easiest Way)
The easiest way (and for some phones, the only way) to submit a photosphere to Google Maps is to go to the location and submit the photosphere as you create it. To get started, go to the area where you want to take your photosphere.
- Open the Google Street View application. You will see small blue circles showing you where the photospheres already exist. It doesn’t make sense to duplicate the work, after all.
- Walk to where you want to take the photosphere.
- Faucet To create.
- Faucet Photosphere.
Your camera will open and display a small field of view and a circle in the middle of the screen. Take your first photo.
From there, you’ll need to rotate your camera and take pictures of everything around you. To help you, your camera’s viewfinder will place dots where you should aim your camera. Place the circle in the viewfinder around these points and the camera will automatically take the photo. Then just go to the next point.
- When you are done, the app will take you to your profile. There you can see the photosphere being prepared for download. Faucet Publish. By default, your phone will wait for you to connect to Wi-Fi to download.
That’s it. The photosphere will be geotagged and placed in Google Maps where it was taken.
How to Submit Your Own Street View Images to Google Maps (The Not-So-Easy Method)
You might already have a photosphere that you took in the past that you want to submit to Google Street View, but alas, you’re already gone. Alternatively, you may be in a location and want to take a photosphere and only remind yourself later that it might be a good addition. Either way, you didn’t take the photosphere through the Street View app. You can always add it.
- Open Google Street View and press To create.
- Faucet Import 360 photos.
Navigate to where you saved the photosphere and tap it.
You will be redirected to your profile with a preview of the photosphere. Faucet Define the location.
- This is the not so easy part. By default, Google will place you wherever you are, and you’ll have to drag the little one 1 where the photosphere was taken. If you are nearby it is not that difficult. If you are home, miles away, it is a little more difficult. You can pinch to zoom in and out like a normal map, which will help you considerably.
- Once you have the location, press the check mark.
- You will be redirected to your profile. Faucet Publish. Again, by default, your phone will wait for Wi-Fi.
Photosphere tips and other test notes
To begin with, we would like to thank user ThatAdamGuy in our forums. He submitted some tips for taking great photo spheres. When taking your photosphere, rather than rotating your body, it’s best to try and rotate your phone while keeping it as close to the same spot as possible. This is not always realistic as you have to see what you are pointing at, but the less you move your phone in 3D space the better.
Cloudy days work better for photospheres than sunny days. This is often said in photography in general, but sunlight can harm your surroundings, as can pointing your phone directly at the sun for one of those photos in the sphere. Diffused light is always better.
Google doesn’t do much (if any) quality control before releasing these photo spheres to the public. This is evidenced by the comically terrible photo-sphere we took as part of this how-to article. Remember earlier when we were talking about not moving your phone in 3D space? Throws into the water are not conducive to this.
Finally, the locations of the photosphere can be changed. If you place a sphere and later realize that it looks a bit out of place, long-press it in your profile and tap the three points > Define the location. You can then refine the location as needed.