Categories: Street View :

Google Maps Views - Announcements and updates

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Google Maps Views - Announcements and updates Adam - Google Program Manager 7/5/14 12:44 PM
Hi Views friends!

I'm starting this topic to keep everyone current on what's up in Views -- new features, temporary bugs, etc. -- and I'll update this as things change; please do bookmark this page! :)


Recently resolved issues

  • A small percentage of photo spheres were temporarily and accidentally removed from Views.

    • Over the next week, we’re notifying those photographers who were affected via private Google+ messages.

    • We’ve been able to recover almost all of the photo spheres; those still missing can most likely be re-imported from the photographer’s Geo Panoramas album, unless the images have been moved or deleted.

    • Unfortunately the viewcounts for affected photo spheres have been reset to zero; we know these statistics are valued and apologize about the loss.

    • In a very few cases, constellations were also deleted. We’re very sorry about this; we realize that this is frustrating, and we hope those affected will re-create the connections.

    • We’ve identified the bug that caused this issue and have taken significant steps to avoid any similar issues in the future. Once again, we apologize for the trouble; thanks for your understanding!

Issues we're still tackling
  • Delay in photo spheres being viewable on Views:  We have plans in the medium-term to make the processing time a lot faster, but for now, we recommend that you DO NOT immediately try to access the panos you import.  Wait a few hours, please.  Trying to access them earlier can further delay their viewability, sorry!
  •  If you're having trouble using this utility with larger photo spheres, you may want to consider using the open source tool called PyExifToolGui to add the necessary pano XMP meta data.
    • Note:  While we've heard great things about this software, it's neither created by nor officially endorsed by Google.
  • Constellation size:  Sometimes adding more than 100 panos to a single constellation can result in errors.  
    • Workaround:  Please create smaller constellations for now, and try to connect these constellations as appropriate later if you'd like.
  • Top Users:  We recognize that listed Top Users in a given region might not always accurately reflect the actual top photographers in that region and we're working to improve these algorithms, but we don't expect major changes in the short-term.
  • Moderation:  We realize that our algorithms and moderators sometimes make mistakes in choosing which photo spheres to approve for Maps.  If you believe one of your photo spheres should have been approved but was not, please see this thread.  We expect to improve our moderation significantly over the long haul.
  • More control:  We've heard your request to choose the canonical photo sphere for constellations you create (e.g., the cover thumbnail, the first photo sphere people see when they view your constellation), and we're working on making this happen, but don't have an ETA.

Other ongoing-useful tidbits and links
  • Passionate about Views and Photo Sphere and want to be inspired by other talented photographers?  Join our Official Google Maps Views community on Google+! :-)
  • Want to get your friends excited about Photo Sphere?  Send them to our official Photo Sphere introduction page.
  • Which devices have Photo Sphere built into the Android camera?  Currently the Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013 edition), and the Play Store (Google Experience) versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One.  It's our goal to ultimately have the entire world able to make photo spheres, of course :).