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Tips for capturing 360 videos for Street View

If you follow these tips when you capture 360 videos for Street View, you can help us optimize how your imagery displays on Google Maps. It may take time for blue lines to show up after imagery is published. Google may also reprocess imagery positioning sometimes. These processes generally finish within 48 hours.

Tip: Street View is not currently available for videos collected indoors.

Set up & position your camera

  • Turn off any gyroscopic stabilization.
  • Keep your camera upright and as high above your camera support system as possible.
  • Pro-grade cameras: If you use a vehicle, the camera must be mounted rigidly and close to level, not on a rotating gimbal.
  • Capture from the top of a vehicle. Do not capture from the side or inside of a vehicle.
  • Position your camera support system so that it takes up less than 25% of the 360 image. If your camera supports a real-time preview, use the preview to check your camera position.
  • The top 75% of the image must show only the surrounding environment with nothing that blocks the view. 
  • Only the bottom 25% of the image may contain:
    • The vehicle or anything attached to it.
      • Vehicles include boats, bikes, or other transportation.
    • The person with the hand-held or helmet-mounted camera.
    • Artificial filler to cover up the vehicle or people. 
      • Do not try to add filler to the top 75%.
    • Superimposed graphics like a nadir cap.
  • Consider the lighting of your environment:
    • Avoid sunrise and sunset.
    • Adjust exposure for bright conditions.
    • If your camera supports a real-time preview, use signs and storefronts to verify proper exposure.
    • Blurry, dark, and washed-out images may not be accurately placed on the map.
  • Consider using available tools from the manufacturer, like a mobile app, to control the camera.

More tips

  • To ensure that GPS data is properly collected, start and stop your collection path in areas with open sky.
    • Avoid trees or buildings.
    • Videos collected indoors or inside tunnels often lack adequate GPS and may not publish successfully.
  • GPS samples:
    • Make sure there are no time gaps greater than 5 seconds between samples.
    • Successive samples shouldn’t be frozen in place while the camera is moving.
    • Check that your GPS samples aren’t impossible. If latitude and longitude jump around in ways that a car or person couldn’t achieve, we may reject the video.
  • To help us automatically position 360 images in relation to one another, try to overlap with some areas you’ve already captured, like turns or city blocks in your collection path.
  • If your camera supports this feature, consider resetting the frame rate:
    • Driving or biking speeds: 5 frames per second (FPS)
    • Walking speeds: 1 FPS
  • As a rule, limit your speed to:
    • Under 5 mph or 8 km/h for 1 FPS.
    • Under 30 mph or 45 km/h for 5 FPS.
    • Under 45 mph or 70 km/h for 7 FPS.
  • To ensure successful publication, the frame rate must be high enough for successive images to capture largely the same scene content.
    • Narrow passageways may need a slower speed or higher FPS.
    • Video sequences with time gaps will work poorly. Do not make a video from distant, still images.
  • Timestamps must be truthful.
    • Do not create a GPS track or video sequence with made-up timestamps.
      • For example, a video sequence with artificial one-second increments.
    • GPS, imagery, and IMU for pro-grade cameras must be in sync, not delayed. The date must not be in the future or the distant past.
  • If processing is required after you capture a video, you must use the same FPS setting.
  • The format for stitched imagery must be equirectangular panorama with 2:1 aspect ratio.
  • Unless otherwise advised by the camera manufacturer, record your 360 videos for at least 2 minutes but for no longer than 60 minutes at a time.
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