Google offers businesses “Trusted Photographers”

Last year Google officered “Street Views” of indoor businesses: click in a web browser to see inside a stores or restaurant. Now the company is connecting businesses with pro shooters who can make the 360-degree images for them.

When it first announced the Business Photos pilot program, “we wanted to give business owners an easy way to get customers in the door online using interactive, high-quality, 360-degree images,” Google says. “With thousands of businesses under our belt — from salons to gift shops — we’ve been hearing the same question again and again from both business owners and photographers alike: How can I participate? Well, with the overwhelming success of the first pilot, we’ve decided to unveil a complementary initiative that will help us reach more interested business owners, more quickly.”

The “Trusted Photographers” program lets anyone use phone or email to set up a photo shoot. “This self-serve model makes for easier scheduling and quicker turnaround, while also supporting the local photographers in your community,” Google says. The photographer will upload the images, “and shortly thereafter, you’ll see 360-degree panoramic views of your business on, Google Maps, and your Google Places listing.”

“Trusted Photographers” are now available in 14 cities. “Don’t see a photographer in your area?” Google asks. “Let us know, as that will help us determine where more Trusted Photographers are needed.”