Views and Photo Sphere

Views by Google Maps

Views is a community where you can share public photos that help other people on Google Maps explore the world and decide where they want to go.


Explore images of the world on Views

Find photos tagged with a location using Views. See images from our Street View special collections, photos from other people, and photos you've shared publicly on Google+.

See Street View special collections and contributed photos

  1. Visit the Views site.
  2. Enter a location in the search box or click Explore.

See your own photos

See photos that you’ve taken and shared publicly on Google+ or uploaded to Views.
  1. Visit the Views site.
  2. Click your profile icon in the top right.
  3. Select “Photo spheres” or “Photos.” Use the dropdown on the right to see all your public photos or only the photos on Google Maps.
Your photos in Google Maps and Views

Photos displayed in your Views page are either:

  • Public photos you directly contributed to Views or Maps, or
  • Photos that you shared publicly from Google+ have locations associated with them and the "Show location data" setting checked.

You have control over which photos are considered for Google Maps and Views. To be selected:

  • A photo must be public
  • A photo must have a location associated with it
  • A photo must be in a public album on your Google+, with the "Show location" setting checked
  • A photo must adhere to our content policies

There are a few different ways that a photo can be associated with a place:

  • You took the photo with your smart phone and GPS location was saved in your photo’s EXIF metadata
  • You shared the photo when you “checked in” at a location in a Google+ post
  • You uploaded the photo to a local business
  • You added a location to the photo
  • You specified a location in the photo title, description, album name, or a Google+ post

How photos are selected for Google Maps and Views

Google Maps tries to algorithmically choose a variety of interesting, high-quality photos that give you a sense of place. To keep the focus on the location, photos that have people in them are typically not chosen.

Because space is limited, not all photos can show up in Google Maps. And some locations, like popular tourist spots or landmarks, have more contributions than other locations.

Learn how to remove a photo from Views and Google Maps.

Contribute your photos to Google Maps and Views

You can contribute public photos and panoramic 360º photo spheres to Google Maps and Views. Help other people explore the world and decide where they want to go.

Contribute a photo from your computer:

  1. Visit the Views website and click the  camera icon in the top right corner.
  2. Choose one or more photos from your computer to upload or select one from a Google+ or Google Drive album. Photos that you upload to Views from your computer will be added to your Google+ profile.
  3. Click Select.
  4. If your images aren't associated with a location, provide a location.
  5. Give your photo a title.
  6. Click Publish and the photos will appear on your Views profile after a few seconds.

Learn more about how photos are selected for Google Maps. If your photo gets chosen to be featured on Maps, you’ll see a "Public on Google Maps" badge on your photo’s thumbnail.

Contribute a photo from your Android device:

  1. Take a photo or photo sphere on your Android device. Learn how to take a photo sphere.
  2. Open the image in the photo gallery on your device.
  3. Touch Share > Share to Google Maps > Submit.

Contribute a photo sphere using Photo Sphere Camera on an iOS device:

  1. Prepare your phone.
  2. Make sure you’re signed into your Google Account by checking your status in the side menu. If you’re not yet logged in, log into your account.
  3. Check that your phone can access your location by enabling this setting in the Settings app. Your photo sphere must be connected to a specific geographic location (geo-located) in order to publish to the map. It must also be 360 degrees around horizontally (holes on the top and bottom are acceptable).
  4. Take your photo sphere. Learn about how to take a photo sphere.
  5. Tap the “Publish to Google Maps” button to share your photo sphere with Views and Google Maps.

If your photo gets chosen to be featured on Maps, you’ll see a "Public on Google Maps" badge on your photo’s thumbnail.

Make sure to turn on “Store location” in your camera app so photos contain location information. In the Google Camera for Android, this is listed under Settings.

Manage your photos on Views

Edit a photo on Views

  1. Go to the Viewssite.
  2. Click your profile icon in the top right to access your images.
  3. Click the photo or photo sphere you want to edit.
  4. Click Edit in the dropdown in the top-right to change the title, description, and location of your image. Or click View on Google+ to edit the photo.
  5. Click Save if available.

Remove a photo from Views and Google Maps

If you don’t want one of your photos to appear in Views or Google Maps, you can delete the photo, make the Google+ album private or uncheck the "Show location data" setting in the album properties:

Delete the photo

To delete the photo from your Google Account, including Google+:

  1. Go to the Viewssite.
  2. Click your profile icon in the top right to access your images.
  3. Click the photo or photo sphere you want to delete.
  4. Click the small menu icon to the right of the photo.
  5. Click Delete photo to remove the image. If you delete the image in Views, it will delete it from Google+ and Google Maps as well.

Uncheck the “Show location data” box for your album

To hide location data associated with your Google+ album from viewers of your album:

  1. Go to the Viewssite.
  2. Click your profile icon in the top right to access your images.
  3. Click the photo or photo sphere you want to edit.
  4. Click Manage location data from the dropdown in the top-right.
  5. Make sure “Public” is not included under the “Visible to” section.

Note: Your photo spheres will be in an album called "Geo Panoramas." Regular images are still in the albums you created.

Remove public access to a Google+ album

To change who can view your Google+ album:

  1. Go to Google+.
  2. Hover over Home and click Profile.
  3. Click on the Photos tab.
  4. Find and open the photo album you want to edit.
  5. Click Sharing options from the dropdown in the top-right.
  6. Make sure “Public” is not included under the “Visible to” section.
Go to my photos
Report a Views image

Content on Views contains imagery that reflects what someone might see while exploring public locations. If you found an image that needs to be removed or modified, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Views site.
  2. Find and open the photo that's in violation of View's community standards.
  3. Click the Report a problem link in the bottom right of the photo.
  4. Complete the form and click Submit.
 

Photo Sphere: 360° panoramic images

Up, down, and all around. Create immersive 360 degree photo spheres, just like you see in Street View. Learn how to share your photo spheres on Views and Google Maps.


Create a photo sphere

You can create a 360° panoramic image, called a photo sphere, from your Android or iOS device. Photograph the world around you and even what’s above and below you. You can also create photo spheres manually with a DSLR camera and third party panorama software.

Make a photo sphere with your Nexus Android 4.4 device

  1. Open the camera app on your phone.
  2. Swipe to the right and touch Photo Sphere.
  3. Hold your device vertically, close to your body.
  4. Adjust the camera angle so the blue dot is centered inside the circle. Hold the camera steady until a frame of the scene appears.
  5. Rotate yourself and your camera slowly, following the dots through the area you want to capture.
  6. [Optional] Undo a single shot in your photo sphere by clicking the undo button.
  7. Touch the check mark at the bottom of the screen when done.

Make a photo sphere with your iOS device

  1. Open the Photo Sphere Camera app on your phone.
  2. Tap the orange camera button.
  3. Hold your device vertically, close to your body.
  4. Adjust the camera angle so the orange dot is centered inside the circle. Hold the camera steady until a frame of the scene appears.
  5. Rotate yourself and your camera slowly, following the dots through the area you want to capture.
  6. [Optional] Undo a single shot in your photo sphere by clicking the undo button.
  7. Touch the check mark at the bottom of the screen when done.

Tips for capturing great photo spheres

  • Start capturing your photo sphere around the horizon, then capture above and below
  • Slightly tilt the phone up or down, keeping your phone in roughly the same location
  • Capture several photos (most devices will require 10 photos for a full sphere)
     

Create a photo sphere with your DSLR camera

If you have a professional-style DSLR camera, you can also create more advanced, higher-quality panoramas.

  1. Take your photos: Take a series of overlapping photos that together cover a full 360°. You can buy tripod mounts made specifically for this purpose.
  2. Remember your location: Make a note of where you’ve photographed so you can add this information into the image file later.
  3. Combine your photos: Using panorama stitching software of your choice, create a 360 degree panorama and save the image as a jpeg.

Click here to learn how to upload your photo sphere from your computer.

Discuss photo spheres

For info on how to create and use photo spheres, panorama metadata and other details of particular interest to developers, visit the Google Developers Photo Sphere site.
Connect photo spheres (constellations)

By connecting your photo spheres you can create even more immersive, 360° views called constellations. Your “constellations” are added to Google Maps, so people can explore your favorite places on Maps. 

Step 1: Select photo spheres

  1. Go to Views.
  2. Open your profile page by clicking your photo in the top right.
  3. Your images appear in the right panel and as dots on the map in the left panel. Click Select images.
  4. Manually select the images you want to connect.
  5. Click Connect images.

You’ll see an updated map of the images you selected.

  • Your photo spheres are marked in blue, sequentially with letters.
  • Yellow dots are Street View panoramas.

Step 2: Orient your photo spheres

To change the photo sphere place on the map, drag the dot to the correct place. Satellite view may be helpful for images taken outside.

To rotate the photo spheres in the right direction, click to select a marker. Then click and hold the pointer.

  • A condensed, aerial view of your image will appear to help you spin it in the correct direction.
  • To spin the photo sphere, rotate the red pointer on the map.

Tip: Try to line up the preview on the right with a prominent object, such as a building, tree, or landmark. You can then rotate the arrow on the map marker to point to the same object on the satelite map.

Step 3: Connect your photo spheres

Solid blue lines show photo spheres that have already been linked. Dotted gray lines lines show potential connections. When you connect photo spheres, users and viewers can easily jump between your images.

To connect photo spheres, click the marker you want to connect and then click the gray dotted line. There may be connections created for you automatically. Click on solid lines to remove connections between photo spheres.

To connect photos spheres to Street View

  1. Click the marker you want to connect then hover over the yellow dot.
  2. Click the gray dotted lines that appears to connect the two.

The connection of your constellation to Street View is only one-way. Users can only navigate from your imagery to Street View, and not from Street View to your imagery.

Things to note:

  • Only connect photo spheres that can be navigated between in real life. Please don’t connect photo spheres that cross walls, buildings, etc.
  • Removing a photo sphere from a constellation won’t delete the photo sphere. To remove a photo sphere, click the trash can button under the zoom buttons in the right side of the screen.
  • Learn how to manage your connected photo spheres.
Manage connected photo spheres (constellations)

Go to Views to manage your connected photo spheres (constellations). You can see approved and unapproved (marked as denied or pending) constellations in Views.

Add connected photo spheres (constellations) to Google Maps

All photo spheres within your constellation must be approved for your constellation to appear in Google Maps. Learn more about photo sphere policies.

If some of the photo spheres within your constellation aren't approved, and you want to add the constellation to Google Maps, you have two options:

Options What happens
Connect only approved photo spheres, disconnecting unapproved (denied and pending) photo spheres Your constellation will be published and eligible to appear in Google Maps.
Connect all photo spheres, both approved and unapproved (denied and pending)

Your constellation, as well as all approved photo spheres within the constellation, won't be eligible to appear in Google Maps.

However, your constellation will still be visible to you in Views.

 

If you choose to delete a photo sphere, we'll remove the photo sphere and split any constellations it is a part of.

Laura is a Google Maps expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback about the page.

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