Update around Google Street View

Hi folks -

We’ve been remiss in providing updates on the Street View integration so I’ll try to touch on multiple topics that have been asked in different threads.

In terms of schedule, we’re still working on this and I don’t have a reliable Beta start date to share. I know this might be disappointing to some, but we prefer not to set expectations around a specific date without it being pretty solid. Hopefully you can understand.

Over the past few months, we’ve been re-architecting how we’re approaching our data flows internally to publish to Street View, and our developers have multiple projects to juggle. I know that isn’t very satisfying but wanted to be transparent about what we’re doing.

Touching on a couple other thread topics:

-The Publish to Street View API is indeed now open to the public just like many of Google’s APIs.  This means more creativity and energy from independent developers, which is good for the whole community.

-The published tour will look pretty much like any other street view tour (desktop or mobile experience). Note that a Street View experience is a pano-to-pano transition without any depth or 3D model behind it. In the future when the XDM format is supported we may be able to get the so-called “2.5D” experience - not quite 3D, but better than today.  Currently we are examining instances where MP Spaces have scans at multiple heights and how that translates into Street View, as well as the best way to deal with floor level connectors.

-Mattertags will *not* be available within the published tour, as there is no support for these in the current API.  Curated examples that Google publishes (like the recent space station tour) have Mattertag-like callouts and links within.  However that is a ‘private’ capability within Google for special samples, not exposed to partners or the public.

-Types of spaces: Google is very careful with user privacy (as Sibyl noted in one GSV-related thread). At the Street View Summit in May there was discussion around clarifying these policies, as nightly rentals of private spaces is allowed. Will check to see if any of that is posted anywhere.  Obviously common sense rules: if there’s doubt with your client, check with them before posting to Street View.

-Posting 360 Snapshots: indeed you can download a 360 snapshot from your Matterport Space and post it to Street View or social/sharing site. Example from a MP Space at the summit: https://goo.gl/maps/teaRXRyH88z

-Auto-linking related content at a Place ID: as Google describes, panos that are published to the same Place ID and that are within certain distances of each other may be automatically connected to each other. I believe the Place ID is important here because in urban settings - shared walls between businesses - you don’t want a user navigating from Store A into Store B through the shared wall.

We know many of you have been eagerly and patiently waiting for this integration. We really appreciate your patience and understanding.

As we continue to focus and develop, we welcome your feedback.  Please feel free to share any input or questions about this capability for Matterport users.

Thanks!

-Kirk



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Comments

44 comments
  • Official comment

    Hi everyone -

    We hear your frustration and thank you for pointing out some areas of confusion. I'll try to address each below.

    I checked with our marketing team and that Instagram image is *not* tied into any Street View specific marketing campaign.  However, I could see how that is easily interpreted to mean that there could be some kind of Matterport icon on Google maps. This is not the case - and we'll be more cautious about the implications of our assets.

    The YouTube video from Matterport marketing is indeed ours, and was used as a company intro within the Google Street View Summit in May. Outside of this context of the presentation, I can certainly see how it could leave the impression that what will show up on Street View is not ‘standard’ Street View. Like others noted, we are using the now-public API and do not have any special access. Links and Mattertag-like icons (like in the Space Station tour) are only for internal Google use - they are not exposed via the API.

    Re: ranking of image order for a specific PlaceID or location. This is entirely Google’s call and is driven by their image search team/algorithms. What I noted before - that more connected images will rise in rank - will help us since it will be easier to publish larger models with less work.  But we (Matterport) do not get ‘special preferential treatment’ to jump the line - everyone posting to Street View is competing to create the strongest signal and rise to the top.

    For those of you who are Trusted Street View photographers, this section of the Local Guides Connect forum may have relevant topics. Some of your concerns are being discussed there, especially around how to avoid poor quality cell phone captures bumping professional tours.

    https://www.localguidesconnect.com/t5/Street-View-trusted/bd-p/SVTP

    That forum is monitored by the Street View team, so it couldn’t hurt to weigh in there in terms of what you’d like to see within Street View and from their API.  Like setting a start position, etc.

    Re: schedule: I would only want to share an estimate in which we have very high confidence, given that our prior ‘summer’ for a public beta was too optimistic.

    We appreciate your patience and please keep the questions/desires/suggestions coming!

     

    -Kirk

  • @matterport-kirk

    Thanks for the update, even if it wasn't what we wanted to hear, at least we now know.

  • Hi Kirk,

    Will the Pro1 camera work on Google Street View or only for the new Pro2 camera? 

    Will there be a difference between how the two cameras work on GSV? 

  • I have already tried to upload panoramas from Matterport and technically it worked. I recently got the new Pro 2 camera and I’m very dissappointed that the GPS metadata isn’t in the JPEGs... In fact there seems to be little to no Metadata at all. Will this always be the case or will there be the GPS Metadata in the images at some point?
    Aslo, are you saying that Google will “read” the images and place them automatically regardless of GPS Data?

  • @justincolbyvaughn: yes, apologies for being quiet

    @jack: not restricted to one camera. We're building out a flow so that older models without any location data will publish - you just have to verify the address (or, a location on a map if there is no street address).  More data is helpful but we didn't want to leave existing spaces behind.

    @Greg-BlueDragonMarketing

    Yes, you are correct that the initial 360 Snapshots don't have any location or context metadata in them - I also had to manually place mine when posting on Google Maps.  We have improvements in metadata in the queue - won't be like this forever.

  • So Matterport have advertised and shown on a video released that the 3D Model can be published to Street View, yet it has now been stated that it will be like any other Street View tour with no 3D Model Behind it? Is this not false advertising and promotion?

    It seems after telling our clients about this its no better than the current version.

    Or have I misinterpreted the Statement?

  • @aeroscapeinfo

    Hi!

    I think we might have a little misinterpretation here. Street View is currently a collection of 360 panos and connectivity information - letting a viewer 'navigate' from one pano to another, with them being placed and connected appropriately. There is no 3D model behind it.

    The new Street View API is a way for partners to publish this data (panos and connectivity information) directly to a specific maps location. Some solutions require a lot of manual labor (aligning and connecting panos yourself, and even stitching the panos themselves if you choose to use a DSLR). Google then creates the connected tour if the data lines up.

    A long standing request of Matterport's customers has been to be able to publish content from their Space to Street View so that they can get the search/discovery exposure in addition to the primary locations in which they have embedded the 'real' Space.  Google's reach is...ahem...a little bigger than ours.

    Since we already have a 3D space, to publish to Street View we extract the panos and connectivity information to feed Google's API.  Since it can *only* be 360 photospheres and connectivity information, some features of MP Spaces are not an option (full 3D model experience, seamless multi-floor navigation, measurements, analytics, Mattertags, custom start positions, guided tours, etc.).

    In the future, the XDM initiative will enhance what data can be used in the API. This is what Charles Armstrong, Google Street View lead, nicknames "a potential 2.5D experience."  Not full 3D, but an improvement. 

    What we announced at the Street View Summit in Tokyo was that we would support this Publish API as it currently exists - and as it evolves.  

    I hope that helps clarify things a bit - nothing has changed in terms of what we are working to support. 

     

  • Yeah, what's happening here? We've built out a major marketing campaign around this and have started to book gigs. Are we supposed to just put a stop to that? The Google integration is the biggest selling point. 

  • @Matterport-Kirk 


    You provided the following link https://goo.gl/maps/teaRXRyH88z as a Matterport created space for Google Street View. Does the new Matterport camera take a full 180 from top to bottom because my MP-200 camera does not. The photo in the link was a near 180 and I wanted to be sure this was a Matterport  image. Thanks.

  • @Troy Gray

     

    This is a 360 Snapshot downloaded from this Pro-based Space (direct link to the pano in question within this location).  You'll see at the poles there is the typical blurring as we can't capture a full 180 degrees vertically. 

  • I tried to pull back my question earlier after I reviewed the poles again but could not delete it. Thanks for the follow up though. :-).

  • Will there be a link within the GSV tour that can direct a viewer to the Matterport 3D showcase easily for a more immersive viewing experience? At least this will allow GSV viewers to potentially be immersed in the full Matterport UX with the mattertags, hyperlinks, 3D model, highlight reel etc. 

  • @boris

    I think it is just the 360's. For what I understand, nothing else....right now. I think they said later more might be added but that is in Google's side.

  • Matterport. 
     
    What you advertise is not what you are delivering. There is a clear misrepresentation between what is advertised to what is achieved. 
     
    This is very poor service from Matterport. Just take a look at your own promotional video and it can be clearly seen. 
     
    The idea was as sold was to integrate the 3D model within the business listing. 
     
    Ultimately what you are saying and not actually advertising is that it's no better than the current set up that google has. .... 
     
    Feeling very disappointed and under sold. 
     
    A series of 360 panos is not how it is described or sold. 
     
    Shame on the marketing team ! 
  • Can you put a link up?

  • @Matterport-Kirk

    The link you provided - https://goo.gl/maps/teaRXRyH88z 

    I noted that this is just a 360 photo on google maps. 

    Do you have any links and actual examples of any Google Street Views (that users can navigate around in) and uploaded from both the Pro1 and Pro2 cameras? 

    Thank you. 

  • @Jack  Correct, that discussion was just about a single 360 Snapshot download. 

    This is the example we showed at the Street View summit (published with the earliest version of the API, so there are a few wrinkles).  I'd recommend clicking "Pegman" (the little yellow figure in the lower right). That will surface the panos from the space published (little blue circles on which you can hover).  Notice that about half of the building doesn't exist on the map - the MP Space scan correctly reflects a major renovation.

    @Boris, @justincolbyvaughn: correct - there are no 'off street view' links allowed within the published panos in Street View.  Note that imagery found by image search may have a reference link to its web source, but within the pano/tour we can't link out.  That said, these are typically published to the Business listings/Place ID which usually has the main website on the lefthand pane. The full MP Space of course is usually on the listing's main website. 

    @aeroscapeinfo: I am sorry that there has been some misunderstanding - please help point me to material that appears to be misleading. We'd love to have Street View evolve to be more immersive.  Perhaps on our GSV page this clarification note is not large enough?
    "Any Space featured on Google Street View will have the same interface and navigation as any other Google Street View place, and will not share the same functionality as those experiences through our 3D Showcase player."

  • @Matterport-Kirk 

    according to Street View experts on Google's own messageboards, Street View tours aren't published to the "my business" page, but rather are uploaded from the users own "Google Maps" or "Street View" app. According to the Google Street View adviser I spoke with, GSV tours don't show up on the my business page or "business listing" as you call it. My convo with the GSV specialist here.

    So with that being said, I'm not exactly feeling confident with how "easily integrated" MP tours will be on GSV after all. It makes me nervous as I'm working on closing a deal with a clinic owner (18 clinics in my city), and his selling point was "future integration with Street View", which I'm beginning to losing confidence in. 

  • Can anyone provide a link to this so-called 'misleading' Matterport / GSV integration video?

  • @Matterport-Kirk

    Thank you for the example -  I went inside the Street View here 

    The navigation is not smooth. Moving around from one photo to the next is quite difficult and messy. I have seen before many other Street Views that allows very easy and smooth navigation. Can I trust that these are just the wrinkles you mentioned as this is the earliest version of the API? As such, in future, once the Final API for the street view integration is ready, the final results would be much much better, and not as bad as this example?

    In future, when integrating from Matterport to GSV --> Assuming I have 200 scans, will all 200 scans be connected automatically? Or do I need to connect each of the 200 photos manually one by one in GSV? 

    I trust this example tour is done using the Pro2? Would it be exactly the same if using the Pro1? 

    I am still considering whether to trade-in. However, could not justify the trade-in value and would probably keep the Pro1 that I just purchased recently. As such, need to ensure that the GSV integration using the Pro1 would be great and work as good as the Pro2. 

    Lastly, it appears the only way to get into the StreetView is through the Photo Spheres. Isn't the 360 images supposed to appear under Photos of the Business Listing? 

  • @jack

    I got a 404 error with that link!

  • @justinv,

    Sorry. This is the link provided by Kirk.

    I went inside the Street View randomly. Not sure why the links I copied here cannot work. Please try to click here

  • @ Matterport-Kirk

    These images were captured to Google by Sarah Maslyk. Please clarify:

    1. Was Sarah using the Pro / Pro2 camera?

    2. Was this capture done using the new API or by downloading the photo spheres independently (as I suggested in another thread) before stitching the trail together manually in the Street View app?

    Thanks.

  • @Boris Maganic, @Jack, @realtymedia

    Good questions:

    - this example was using a Pro-based model (not Pro2). We hadn't announced the Pro2 yet at this time.

    - Sarah is one of our developers and we were testing the publishing API. That is one benefit of starting with a Space (everything is already connected in a 3D model) so you don't have to manually connect panos (200+ scans would get tedious).

    - navigation in this example definitely has issues and this is part of the tuning and translating that we're working on (from the MP Space experience to Street View). 

    - re: images and business listings. I was imprecise when I wrote 'business listings' I mean - example in the image below - that the business has it's own website (red circle) in which the full MP Space is embedded. In terms of how to get into the street view: the Maps experience is always evolving, and in this instance you can see (red arrow) the lead image here is a street view proper (car-captured) image. If you enter the collection of photos for the Spa Place ID, the order will change depending on image search parameters. At the Street View summit the Google team spent some time talking about how they'll help us all understand the signals that the image search algorithms use to rank.  For instance, more popular images float to the top; more connected (e.g. Street View) panos tend to rise; 'better' images, etc. Thus the more connected and relevant content we can publish for a location, the more discoverable it will be for viewers.  

    Hope that helps!

  • @Matterport-Kirk,

    Thank you for your reply. 

  • @Matterport-Kirk

     

    I have to say that I've tried to be patient through all of this but I'm sorry, I am not being fooled by your attempt at literal poise. I can read between the lines, and all I see is "BS". The image that you point at with the red marker is a regular car shot by Google. I can't stress this enough as I'm about to type it, and I hope that all of the MSPs on here understand this... THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SELF UPLOADED INTERIOR STREET VIEW! So in turn, if we MSPs post our Matterport tour to street view, it doesn't make s**t of a difference, the virtual tour won't easily show up upon a Google search. It'll be lost in the mud with any other self-uploaded cellphone captured "virtual 360-sphere tour".This is really disappointing, as the announcement of the Street View integration was positioned to sound like a PARTNERSHIP with Google; and promised something quite grand, and in the end it's very misleading. This is no Partnership, Google isn't involved with Matterport any more than they would be partnered with me developing a street view experience using something like PANO2VR which uses the Street View API. Yes, I do remember seeing some type of promo which lead me and anyone who viewed it to believe that not only will we see the 3D dollhouse, but we will see highlight reel, matterags etc. I remember reading something to the likes of "the Street View experience will be just like any standard Matterport tours". I wish I had taken a screen shot so I could post it here to prove mine and @aeroscapeinfo 's point!

    "Reap the search benefits of interactive 3D" What does that even mean?? Jargon! There is no benefit to interactive 3D when 1. the person searching for the business on Google won't find a 3D Matterport Tour, and 2. the virtual tour doesn't show up on the business listing anyway! 

     

    VERY disappointed so far.

  • This is what I keep seeing in ads:

    And I know I saw something similar in a Webinar.

    I was let to believe at some point we align the footprint to the building on Google Maps and it would show up just like the above image for people to click on.

  • @Greg-BlueDragonMarketing

     

    Wowwwwwwwwwwwwww, I can't believe that Matterport are advertising this way, talk about preemptive, misleading wishful thinking. Unforunately, this Matter-hopeful impression of the whole Google Street View integration has fallen upon all of us MSPs, and we've been misleading our clients to believe that such an immersive experience as these misleading info-graphics that Matterport have been publishing can even exist. 

  • Here is a link directly from a user called Matterport Marketing. Please verify wether this is legitimate or a 3rd party company. It shows the integration with a 3D model directly from google street view.

    I'm about to have some VERY upset clients whom I've shown this video to, and you're going to have a lot more of this doesn't get cleared up.

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=r62uAbbhr6o

  • Exactly my point. It's a total misrepresentation of what matterport have said and what they can actually deliver.

    Again we have some very annoyed clients coming our way in the future months

    This needs to be rectified. Clarified and published to ensure you are not under selling people that buy into this.

    It's completely false.

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