Google Street View is a great way to explore a new area and plan out vacations or a big move before you hit the road. You can check out images of entire neighborhoods along with places to shop and eat so you know where things are and what they look like when you get there. The catch is that in some areas Street View imagery is simply not available.
Google is looking to fix that with the new Street View Ready program that will allow anyone to add images to Street View if they are using a certified camera. The catch is that there is only one supported camera right now and it is the Insta360 Pro. The big downside to this is that the camera sells for $3,499, definitely putting a crimp on your plan to add your small town America neighborhood to Street View.
The good news is that Google does have some of the cameras on hand, and is making them available as a loaner to qualified individuals and organizations. This is so organizations that take care of protected lands can capture Street View images to share with the masses. It's not clear how people go about being "qualified" to borrow the high-end cameras.
The Insta360 camera is able to capture 8K 360-degree still images at up to 5 frames per second and features real-time image stabilization. Google is making it possible to control the camera from directly within the Street View app, while images and video captured can also be uploaded to Street View from the official Insta360 Stitcher software. The 5 fps 8K shooting mode is a new feature that is added via software update specifically for Street View content. A new USB hardware accessory will be shipping out that appends GPS data to the photos and videos collected.It would be very cool if a cheaper alternative was there to allow hikers to capture video of some of their favorite trails to share with the masses, but these are the sorts of places Google is unlikely to venture.