Google Street View Launch / Matterport integration?

Hey,

Matterport MSP in North East England here. I have some questions regarding the rumoured GSV integration:

  1. When is GSV going live with Matterport?
  2. Will it be possible to retrospectively add finished models to GSV?
  3. Will owners of Mk 1 Cameras (no GPS) still be able to integrate with GSV?
  4. What is the procedure for submitting a space / model to Google Street View?

Thank you in advance for any advice.

6

Comments

25 comments
  • Hi @realtymedia!

    It will absolutely be possible to publish models created with the Pro camera to Street View. After selecting a model to publish, you'll just have to verify the location/address, then (if needed) make any adjustments to the footprint of the model on a map. This might involve rotating it (compass direction) or nudging it to more accurately match the outline of the structure to which it corresponds. Then you'll hit publish and we'll do the rest - compiling the data that is needed to talk to Google's API.

    We'll announce when we're ready to open the Beta; Google just updated their API to include the ability to indicate floor levels, which is pretty important for multi-level spaces.

    Note: you can post the new 360 snapshots to Street View right now (as well as to other social media). Obviously isn't a full space, but for select shots that may help in a pinch.

  • Hi Kirk,

    Thanks for the quick response!

    Just one question remaining unanswered:

    Will I be able to retrospectively publish models I've already done to Google Street View?

    Cheers.

  • Yes - certainly existing older Pro-based models (may just need the location/address verification and the compass rotation on a map to make sure everything is reasonably lined up). 

  • Perfect - thanks for the clarification.

    Have a great weekend.

  • I have an additional question according the 3D data use for a better experience.
    Will a tour on Streetview take advantage of this MP feature in general or in a special VR Version from Google?

  • Is there maybe already a submitted tour with multilevels available for viewing on streetview?

  • Not yet - Google just told everyone about the API change about 10 days or so ago. At the time there weren't any samples that they could share from any partner and we haven't published one yet with the new API.  Will share one once we do and/or if we find one out there.

  • Matterport-Kirk wrote on 06/23/17:

    "We'll announce when we're ready to open the Beta; Google just updated their API to include the ability to indicate floor levels, which is pretty important for multi-level spaces."

    1. Any news on opening of the Google Street View Beta?

    2. Multi-levels on GSV - currently non Matterport GSV photographers are getting ahead of us by being able to part represent multi-level spaces on Google. Matterport Pro's cannot represent part models at all.

    For GSV we need Matterport to offer a 'level selector' view as an alternative option to the 'dolls house' view that we currently have. Some establishments (eg. hotels / bars / restaurants) have rooms on other floors that they don't want publishing (kitchens / utility / stores). Currently non-Matterport photographers can represent this with a simple floor selection key (checkout 'Denver Beer Co' on Google, click on the 360 and view the floor selector to the right.

  • @realtymedia / @anyone else.

    The Google Street View Publish API went public / live a few days ago.  I've managed to review the spec, docs, etc. and it seems that multi-level was implemented in a very simple manner.  

    I'm rather surprised by how the API works... the documentation is sparse and I can only imagine how tedious it has been for Matterport to develop for it.  To my knowledge, there's no sandbox to test results (none that I have seen).

    I'm very excited to see Matterport's system live and it couldn't come sooner!  There's a lot of business out there for GSV pros -- and a lot of people who can learn about how GREAT Matterport is for publishing on a website (vs. Street View).  If you can sell them both, everyone wins!

  • Agreed. There are lots of opportunities for GSV pros. And it can't come sooner enough.

    One hypothetical question I have though. If for any reason you end your contract with Matterport to host spaces you've created, what happens to the GSV business listing you created for the client? Is it erased from Google?

  • @realtymedia I cannot see Matterport removing the GSV tour if hosting ends.

    #1) GSV is hosted by Google.

    #2) GSV tours can be imported and edited from other platforms that your Google Account has been authenticated with including the GSV Street View App.

    #3) Matterport would have to actually CREATE a mechanism to delete the tours, and that would likely be prohibited by Google

    Matterport seem to have pulled direct links to the GSV announcement from the matterport.com.  I would guess this means it's not coming this summer.  As a GoThru user, I do know that the API is quite ready - but it appears that there are many safeguards and quite a lot of things that are unpredictable that must be giving Matterport headaches and would explain why the program has not launched yet.

    I'm game for a BETA and providing feedback!

  • @Chris

    I'd be very surprised if they have changed plans on a GSV launch as they already gave me a load of marketing PDF's. I certainly hope not as I've promised some clients.

    I'd never heard of GoThru before so thank you for that pointer. So technically it's already possible to download a selection of my 360 assets from my processed Matterport model, moderate them in GoThru and publish them to Google Street View? But that will cost me another $24 per month / $20 per publish right?

    Do you know of any free alternatives that have the GSV API integration?

  • @realtymedia Great points!  

    #1) Summer is technically over in September, so they've still got some time :)

    #2) Google Street View 'requires' that panos be greater than 5,300 x 2,650.  The 360 snapshots are 4096x2048.  Thus, they aren't Street View ready.  Therefore, there is no straightforward way to use Matterport as a GSV device until Matterport's solution is ready:

    Ref on requirements: https://www.google.com/streetview/earn/

    --

    For what it's worth - GoThru.co is a great service.  It was the first 3rd party service to launch that allowed people to moderate and publish tours via the Street View API.  It is my opinion after evaluating all of the options, that GoThru is the best solution and that looking for a free alternative is trading massive time, headache, etc. for a nominal fee.

  • @realtymedia there are a lot other services coming up similar to the ones mentioned above. Check out the "We Get Around"-Platform and also http://ivrpa.org for latest information related to these topics.

    In my opinion the MP Pro 1 does not provide the quality for SV to really impress compared to other technologies. And as I have yet not seen a 134MP Pano of the Pro2 or details about the process I would also be careful and not expect that this solution will fulfill clients needs or expectations.

     

    The SV requirements:

    IMAGE QUALITY

    • 14 mp or larger (5,300 x 2,650 px)
    • 2:1 image aspect ratio
    • No gaps in image around horizon
    • No significant stitching errors -> difficult to fix with MP
    • Adequate detail in light/dark areas
    • Sharpness: no motion blur, in focus
    • No distracting effects or filters
  • And here to evaluate MP development a older presentation what I have expected 2 years ago. Review and judge the reality.

    https://www.slideshare.net/DevCentralAMD/is4078-3d-reconstruction-with-matterport-by-matt-bell

  • This seems to be pushed back to WINTER? Where is the announcement to the beta partners with clients who we have pre-sold the functionality!

  • @MarcusMorba

    As per GSV requirements:

    The Pro-1 delivers fantastic 8192x4096 panos that look great on GSV.  There are stitching errors at times as seen in Showcase -- if the Matterport camera is too close to a wall / wrought iron staircases, etc.  This is due to Matterport's design not being focused on the nodal point (not really possible) causing parallax error on very close objects etc.  This can be avoided, and if given the opportunity, we can disable those scans if it is our preference.

    -

    As per people being impatient:

    It's evident that Matterport are actively working on the GSV Program.  They are having API related issues that they are working with Google on.  They have tickets and discussions with Google in the public bug tracker.  It's my opinion and observation that delays are largely due to Google, not Matterport.

    -

    As for what Matterport are doing FOR GSV:

    Matterport Showcase is a superior presentation platform that utilizes vastly superior technology.  Matterport are exporting panos to a rather basic system that is buggy and that everyone from the Trusted Pros to 3rd parties are struggling with.  

    In my humble opinion, Matterport could be the best thing that has happened to the program as the capture app is unrivaled in providing a way to build a GSV tour using good form, spacing, and a dense # of panos.  The automated publishing will be more accurate and easier than anything out there.

    -

    As for the state of GSV:

    GSV Features are greatly incomplete.  The most relatable feature that most customers want is the 'See Inside' image entry point -- which is gone.  Instead, when tours are submitted, EVERY SINGLE pano is displayed in the photos tab. According to Google, they automatically determine the ranking order of the images based on quality, popularity and connectivity.  In the real world, the results don't make sense.  For my tours, the results are never what I'd choose or what the client wants.

    The only way to fix this is to use unsupported methodology, and to update a published tour and strip the placeID from the panos that you don't want to have display in the photo reel.  It's an experimental hack, and it's something that Matterport would likely love to do, but shouldn't as it may lead to major issues if Google decides to disallow this.

    Furthemormore, the massive display of thumbnails that appear are generated from the center of the panos.  Often times this will mean that your panos will be positioned incorrectly and simply look at a wall.  GoThru.co has a solution where you can re-center the pano.  Hopefully Matterport will consider this too.  This is an undocumented methodology for regaining some control over publishing. 

    If we simply had the ability to select a 'See Inside' image and an 'Exterior' image for each level, as we had prior to the API, it would be much easier to be able to select an ideal thumbnail.  Matterport would be able to utilize the 'Snapshots' feature that they already have and would be able to simply use the image that we've already selected as our entry image.

    Moving on - when submitting to Google - sometimes stuff just doesn't appear.  GoThru.co even has a feature to recheck and fix tours that simply didn't post correctly.  Sometimes, it takes over a week for Google to optimize published images by properly distributing them across their caching servers -- so all requests go to one block of servers and imagery appears blocky until waiting a few seconds.  It's all quite a mess.  I can only imagine the amount of negative customer support that will be generated here and targetted towards Matterport for a problem that isn't theres.

     -----

    In closing:

    Everyone seems a bit polite and people are generally doing everything they can to put a positive spin on the state of GSV.  The truth is, there are a lot of people out there that have chosen to be a Google Trusted Photographer and rely on the income that it provides.  Google have made it frustrating and difficult for everyone.

    I'm hoping that Matterport's involvement with GSV will give them leverage to help the platform grow from being a bit dysfunctional to something worthwhile.  The promised inclusion of 3D data is exciting and Matterport is the only vendor of a device that can properly do this.

    GSV support is a necessity for a platform such as Matterport's.  If I were in Matterport's, I'd just have allowed people to export the panos with GPS metadata in it and to send people off to 3rd parties for moderation and avoid all of the unnecessary negativity.  I'd charge a nominal fee for processing and extraction of the panospheres and call it a day.

    But ... I'm not Matterport :)  And Matterport have something much better that they are getting ready for us!

    In the meantime, you can market GSV tours and just let customers know that tours will be published in the fall.  Excuses for GSV are rampant right now - so this excuse is reasonable.

  • @Chris Hickman

    I know the Pro 1 delivers 8192x4096 panos:

    • Size = 8192 x 4096 = 33554432 pixels
    • Megapixels = 33.6 Megapixels
    • Aspect ratio = 2.00

    But I viewed the latest MP streetview scenes fullscreen on my MacbookPro (HD internal & external screen) as also on my new Laptop (4K 15" internal and 4K 28" external display) which I would define as near future standard and all what I can think of is "damn unsharp".

    Not to speak from the real estate marketing people who are used to present their stuff to clients on large Full-HD or 4K TV-Displays. They expect the "new stuff" also to work with this while having the same quality the know from DLSR-Potography.

    And yes for sure I have maybe advanced demands for my projects as I think a little in the future.

    For SV: even if the faults are on Google - then MP please don´t promote and promise things you can not deliver if other people trust in you.

     

  • Hi from Switzerland !

    Any news about the GSV Beta program ?

    Thx

  • Not a one you would like.

  • Nice of MP to tell their paying customers first.

    Why do we always learn everything secondhand, even when there are threads like this demanding urgent answers for clients we have sold empty promises to?

  • The Website (Desktop) also still announces this summer: https://matterport.com/gsv/gsv-for-photographers/

    So I guess we need feedback from MP.

  • It says winter now!

  • Well, it was Winter in South-Africa and we are going to Spring ... :-) MP did not state "winter" in what part of the world, :-) 

     

     

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