Google Store View Under Development?


Google continues to organize the world’s information and the next step in that process could be creating “street view” type recreations of store and business interiors. According to a retailer called “Oh Nuts” in New York, a Google representative entered the store and took pictures with the camera positioned every 6 feet. Here are some still images that seem to have been captured by the store’s security camera:


This would be a project of enormous proportions. Whereas with Google Street View you can blanket the nation/world by driving everywhere, often at high speeds, Google would need to enter stores individually by foot. Of course they COULD ask participating stores to take their own images, or use a “citizen journalist” type crowd-sourcing – but I’m not sure how likely that would be.

Google responded to a question about the alleged Google Store View by saying:

We are always experimenting with new features for Google Maps. We have nothing further to announce at this time.

They obviously aren’t denying anything. But would Google Store View even be helpful? If you really wanted a review of a business and to see the inside couldn’t you just Google the business name? How do you see this technology being used?

If Google were to somehow get businesses to participate and then somehow link in-store inventory to the pictures… allowing you to browse products from your computer or phone as if it were a “virtual” store – that would be neat. But neat and practical are 2 different things and logistically, I’m not sure how feasible or attractive Google Store View is.

Time for you to chime in…

[Via Search Engine Land]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. … planting seeds for an April Fools joke

  2. This does not make any sense from a practical perspective.

  3. I could see it useful for restaurants, trying to see if it looks clean and a place you would like to eat at. Or hotels. Oh wait even better: BATHROOMS!
    But regular stores … I don’t see the point. I mean they could sell advertising inside of the “virtual” store, but from a user’s perspective, not much use to see inside a store unless it’s live.

  4. CCTV and public surveillance?
    imagine having a _video_ camera with 2fps pointed at the bar in your local pub. before you head out you go online and check if there is any hot chicks by the bar, or long queues of lonely after 50 man…
    advertised well on the web, yeah, I can see it around near me in 1yrs time…
    shop owners would be pleased to have some cctv (in the cloud) solution installed, not a bad idea.
    I’ll put an e-mail alert on it ;-)

  5. Google hasn’t innovated for a long time. They are just blatantly stealing ideas left and right. See for yourself everyscape.com

  6. My wife got a call from google last november asking her if they could come by and take photographs of all the floors at her work (a furniture store). She told her that you will be able to click on a business and “go in” to the business.

  7. How about Google work on their own store??? The Market? It would be refreshing to see some good pic’s there.



  8. It’s kinda creepy when you think about!


  10. With all fingers that have been pointed at Google Maps and Google Earth in supposedly aiding terrorism, I can only imagine this leading to similar issues with crime but on a much smaller scale. I understand and see the growth of map APIs and mashups but until this gets a truly viable, necessary application then it is just not the right thing at the right time.

  11. Richmond, Richmond, is that you?? 3=o

  12. Richmond? He’s not out of his room, is he? What did I say about the red door? I said, “DON’T OPEN THE RED DOOR!”

  13. I think its just an experiment like they say… and a good strategy… something like:

    1) Keep a very open mind
    2) Experiment
    3) Draw statistics
    3) Expand your universe or go to 1

  14. [ Up-front disclaimer: we compete in this space ]

    At RealPlaces, we think the idea is great, but then again, we’re biased. ;-) We offer a solution that’s similar, but hopefully meets a different set of needs.

    With RealPlaces (http://realplaces.com), Oh! Nuts could have taken a different approach. By shooting a set of organized pictures of their store all by themselves, with no fancy equipment, they could have created a similar walk-around, but they would be in complete control of their imagery. The end result might not connect directly into StreetView (yet), but they would be able to change or update images whenever and however they like. They could also highlight various products of their own choosing with individual zoom-in closeups, add descriptions of products, and/or allow their viewers to add their own comments. And they could embed a live walkaround on their own web site. As an example, see what a hair salon in Seattle put together:


    Of course, Oh! Nuts is going to get a crazy amount of free promotion because they’re the first ones to leak pictures of the Google process, but that’s a one-time thing. Others that follow won’t get that same benefit.

    Being in control of one’s own images and allowing your customers to engage is important these days. And with that in mind, we welcome Google’s implicit validation that in-store navigable imagery is desirable and valuable. Thanks Google!

    -Rusty, founder RealPlaces, Inc.

  15. The store view could confuse potential customers into thinking you don’t carry the latest products because the images will become outdated. People will not only look at the store, but the products as well. Many people already think the aerial imagery/street view photos on google maps is realtime or taken “today”.

  16. This may just be another individual employee experiment. Everyone knows Google encourages employees to pursue their own ideas. These ideas rarely show up in Labs let alone actually become full features. The power of Google is tons of employees all innovating. They blatantly borrowed the university model.

  17. @ Mike

    Very smart!!

  18. Okay, maybe I need a tinfoil hat here, but does anyone else get the strange feeling Google may be in bed with the federal govt. and even other govts. around the world to track our every move, everywhere, and sell to govts. all our emails, searches, calendars, and all our supposedly private information? Look at the recent coordination with the NSA. Even Google admitted we are all subject to the Patriot Act. Traitors! The Patriot Act should be either thrown in the trash or used to wipe my butt! One world govt. is just becoming a few clicks away, folks.

  19. folding tinfoil for dale…

  20. Hi,

    You posted the article “Google Store View Under Development?” with pictures of our local store
    would you please include a link to our home page http://WWW.OHNUTS.COM?

    Oh! Nuts

  21. Google Store Views will allow people to essentially walk into the store, off of Google Street Views. So imagine you are looking at this store, and then you can click on the door to enter it, all on Google Maps. Then when you enter the store, you can walk through it. For now you may only see on google maps the “exterior” of shopping places such as baby and children boutiques it only useful for window shopping. We have had an nice experience on January 4 of this year a Photographer by the name Eric Martin representing Google Business photos and google maps informing us that Google is planning to add new features by using the same technology application offering the consumer the interior view of brick and mortar boutiques. They scheduled a photo shoot from our store inside taking picture of how the baby clothes are displayed and what the customer sees when entering the store. Interviewing what the customer’s interest, top sellers, and how knowledgeable sales staff being a personal shopper by helping a new mom or moms-to-be a layaway package by filling out a baby check list or signing up a baby registry. It looks like it’s important for Google to give people a full understanding of what is available at this particular address. We hope they are only aiming public places.
    Can’t imagine when entering on google a phone number the search results will give you the full information: The person or business name, address, plus personal images of her/him with a view his house (exterior) from the sky (Google earth), then the interior of his home bedroom, dining room, living room, closets especially his clothing wardrobe. It’s definitely the future.

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