FAQ

The Sign Up Process

How can Business Views help my business?

When potential customers search for your business by name on Google, they will see the images displayed directly on the search results page. These panoramic images will also be published on Google+ Local pages, Google Maps, Google Search, Google Mobile and other Google properties and give customers a better sense of the layout, decor and beauty of your business interior. You can place these images on your own business website, and other social media sites to attract potential customers who visit those websites too.

What can VirtualBusinessTours360.com as a Google Trusted Photographer do that I can’t do myself?

We are trained, and certified by Google as Google Trusted Photographers to take high quality photos of building interiors and to use Google Street View technology. Only Google Trusted Photographers can incorporate your Google Virtual Tours into Google Search.

Are there any restrictions on what type of businesses can participate?

Currently, we are not photographing hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, etc.

What is the relationship between a Trusted Photographer and Google?

Trusted Photographers are independent contractors/businesses who work in conjunction with Google. Google has certified VirtualBusinessTours360 because we meet Google’s standards of quality for taking the feature pictures and panoramic pictures, uploading them, moderating publishing them on Google properties.

What is the cost to get my business photographed?

Because Trusted Photographers are not employees with Google, we individually decide how much to charge for our services. Google expects the Trusted Photographers to offer our services at a fair market value, and acceptable price for the service. Prior to any photo shoot, we will present our contract, specifying the services, for your acceptance. The agreement also spells out (among other things) that, in return for your payment to the Trusted Photographer, you will own the images that have been taken.

The Photo Shoot

How can I coordinate a photo shoot?

Call or email us or Info@VirtualBusinessTours360.com

How long will the photo shoot take?

In most cases, a photo shoot will take about an hour or two, but this varies depending on the size of your business.

What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot?

You can clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, The intent of the photography is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.

Which areas of my businesses will be photographed?

Photo shoots will include the main areas of your business. We will work with you to determine what areas of your businesses you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot.

Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations?

We have considerable experience working with clients. We know you have a business to run, and that’s why we designed photo shoots to be as non-disruptive as possible. We work with your schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you and your business. Our photo shoots are non-disruptive and should not interfere with your normal business operations. It’s a good idea to let your customers know photography is in process. Ideally, we prefer to shoot before or after business hours for a cleaner look.

Will people be included in the photo shoot?

We want to keep the focus of the photos on the inside of your business, so we try to have as few people in the shots as possible. During the photo session, we may put up a sign and alert customers we are present. As the business owner it is your responsibility to notify your employees and customers that the photo shoot is taking place.

Privacy and Legal

What measures are in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance?

Photo shoots will exclude any areas of your businesses which you would not like to feature. All panoramic imagery will be processed by Google’s state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of any employees, customers, or personal information that appear in the imagery. At any time you may request additional blurring or takedown of entire images through our Report a Problem link at either the bottom of the pano image, or within your Google+ Local page.

Who from my business can give legal permission for the photo shoot?

You must have the proper authority to allow us access to the business premises to collect photographs and to subsequently allow Google to use those photographs in its products and services. People with this authority include the owner of the business or a director or manager with the designation to make those commitments on behalf of the owner. Please note that by agreeing to the terms and conditions and the Google terms of service before your photo shoot, you are confirming that you have the authority to make that commitment.

Will Google be using the imagery in other applications besides Google+ Local pages?

Google may use these images in other products and services in new ways that will make your business information more useful and accessible to users. For example, further integration with Google Maps will allow customers to find these images easily from the 360-degree Street View imagery of nearby roads for many locations.

Do I own the photographs?

Yes, you will own the photos taken by us once you have paid for this service and the shoot is completed. By signing the agreement, you will also license the use of the photos to Google who will publish the imagery. The photographer has the right to display your tour or individual images as samples of his work.

Can I review the photos after they are taken and before they go live on my Google+ Local page?

Because the technology takes individual unstitched and unreviewed images that need considerable processing after we upload them, to produce the attractive ‘walk-through’ experience, you will not be able to review the images before they are uploaded to Google.

Can I blur the images or take down all panoramas from by business listing?

Yes. You may also ask us to take down all panoramas. At this time we are unable to take down individual panoramas. To request blurring or take down click on the “Report a Problem” link on the specific images where you see issues and provide the requested information. Please note that the blurring/removal process may take several days.

Could my photos be removed for other reasons?

Yes, your photos might be removed if they are found to violate the Google photo policy. Although all business images undergo quality review before being uploaded, some photos may still be reported as inappropriate and later removed.

If I’m not the business owner, can I request the removal of a photo?

Similar to Google’s policy for Street View imagery, the “Report a Problem” tool enables users to request further blurring of images that feature the user in the 360-degree imagery. Users can also request the removal of images that display inappropriate content, and business owners can ask us to remove 360-degree images taken by photographers through the “Report a problem” link or the “Report inappropriate photo” link for feature photos.

Additional Questions

Can I embed these images on my business website?

Yes, we encourage you to share the walk-through experience of your business with your customers. To embed the 360-degree panoramas on your website, simply find the HTML snippet from a good point of view of the panoramic imagery on Google Maps, click on the “Link” button , click “customize and preview embedded map,” and then copy and paste the HTML to embed in your website. If you’re looking for even more customization of your images, check out the Google Maps API.

Can I have a repeat photo shoot?

Yes, you are welcome to coordinate a repeat shoot as often as you’d like. . We offer discounted pricing for repeat shoots if they happen within one year of the original shoot. Many businesses who have recently renovated their interiors or that have seasonal decor will request a reshoot. Remember that you can always upload your own up-to-date photographs through Google+ Local as well.