Home Is Google Planning to Take Street View into Stores? (Updated)

Is Google Planning to Take Street View into Stores? (Updated)

According to a new rumor, Google could soon take Street View indoors and allow its users to walk into virtual stores. Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land just received information from a retailer in New York that Google came to their store to take pictures of the inside of the store.

Update: We just received confirmation from an anonymous source that Google is indeed working on this project.

We just heard from a retailer in San Francisco that Google also photographed the inside of their store about 2 weeks ago – after seeking permission to do so, of course. According to our source, the Google employee used a “specialized camera which he rotated to take the 360 degree shot.” In addition, he also took shots “looking out of the store as if exiting.” This last part makes sense if Google wants to use this sequence of images to simulate the process of entering and exiting the store.

Of course, scaling up a program like this would be a lot harder to do than having a fleet of cars drive around the country and take photos in what is now a mostly automated process.

Here is the image that Search Engine Land received from the New York-based retailer:

Given that Google is already using its Street View trikes in parks, university campuses and zoos, locations like large malls would seem like a more reasonable area to expand Street View to first. Taking Street View indoors does make a lot of sense, however. Stores and malls are the obvious example that Google could monetize, but the company could also use the same technology in museums or public buildings.

The problem with these locations, though, is that Google can’t rely solely on GPS to create these indoor views. Maybe that’s why the company decided to work with smaller locations first to try out different methods for creating reliable indoor maps efficiently. It is worth noting that there are currently only a handful of mobile apps that offer indoor maps.

We asked Google for a comment about this rumor and will update the story once we hear back from them.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.