It may seem crazy, but Google could soon be taking Street View indoors, after a number of retailers have reported Google coming to their workplace to photograph the inside of their stores.
According to the retailers, Google are using a 360 degree camera to take pictures of the inside of the store, including shots as they enter and leave the premises. If Google decides to integrate these images with Google street view, it will allow people to essentially walk into the store from the street on Google maps.
Here’s an image from search engine land showing Google capturing images within a store.
According to the retailers, Google is asking permission before photographing each business. Here’s what a couple of retailers had to say in the comments area over at SEL,
I received a call about a month ago from Google employee that wanted to schedule a trip to all 6 of the stores with which I am associated in the NYC area. I didn’t call him back but I do still have his contact information from the voicemail.
My father owns a small store in downtown Los Angeles. He was visited by a guy from google, that asked him if they could take pictures of the inside of his store. I checked it out and it seemed legitimate.
Google said that they would make an appointment and come in for about 15 minutes and photograph the entire inside of the store (public areas only).
What do you think? Is this an invasion of privacy or the next step in Google street view?