FAQ

General Information

How can Business Photos help my business?

When potential customers search for your business by name on Google, they will see the images displayed directly on the search results page. These panoramic images will also be published on Google+ Local pages, Google Maps and other Google products and give customers a better sense of the layout, decor and beauty of your business interior.

Using easy-to-use HTML snippets or Maps APIs, you can also link to these images from your own business website, attracting potential customers who visit your website too.

Why are businesses being photographed and how can I see the pictures?

Google Trusted Photographers are taking high-quality still photographs that will be stitched into 360-degree views using panoramic camera technology. These Trusted Photographers are independent contractors who have been trained and certified by Google to produce high quality panoramic images.

As a business owner, you can also upload your own photographs to Google+ Local by signing into Google+ Local. You’ll be able to see the photos and 360-degree panoramic imagery directly on Google search results and on your Google+ Local page.

What will the Trusted Photographer do that I can’t do myself?

Justin Short has been a commercial photographer for over 12 years, and has been Google trained to take high quality photos of building interiors, accommodating for common challenges such as low lighting and tight spaces.

Justin is certified to take pictures using fisheye lenses and rotating camera turrets (mounted on tripods) that, once uploaded to Google’s processing pipelines by him, will be transformed into 360-degree panoramic imagery and a walk through of your business.

Once Justin uploads the pictures, Google’s processing pipelines use sophisticated image stitching, HDR, image matching and other technologies to produce these panoramic walkthroughs. 

Are there any restrictions on what type of businesses can participate?

We do not currently allow Trusted Photographers to upload imagery of legal establishments, and some museums/places of worship covered by other Google programmes.

What’s a Google Trusted Photographer?

Trusted Photographers are independent contractors/businesses that are not employed by Google, agents of Google or affiliated with Google in any way.

Google has certified them because they meet Google’s standards of quality for taking the feature pictures and panoramic pictures, uploading them, moderating them and eventually publishing them on Google properties.

How much does it cost?

There is a one off charge, payable on completion of the shoot to Justin Short for the photography itself.

This depends on the number of panoramas taken and the subsequent uploading into Google’s system, stitching, HDR and perfecting the tour layout itself.

Google charge nothing for the hosting or publishing on Google Maps and other Google products.

The aim of Google Tour is to give the viewer a feel of what you have to offer – don’t feel that you have to show every inch of your business. 

 

The Shortwork360° Guarantee

We work to the highest standards in all that we do – and offer a full refund if you’re not entirely satisfied – that’s guaranteed!


Photo Shoot

How can I book a shoot?

Give Justin a call and we can talk over exactly what you want, or send me an email with any questions you have – I’ll do what I can to help.

When I’ve got a feel for how many panoramas will be required, I’ll work out a quote for you and get a date in the diary.

If you’d like additional photography or want to build a website, we can work out some options – here’s my Shortwork Photography website and a sample site to show you what’s possible here.

There are lots of options and I’m happy to talk over any ideas you have…

How long will the photo shoot take?

In most cases, a photo shoot will take about an hour or two – this varies depending on the size of your business.

What do I need to do to prepare my business ahead of the photo shoot?

You are welcome to clean and tidy things up prior to the photography session, but remember that the aim of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.

Which areas of my businesses will be photographed?

Photo shoots will include the main customer-facing areas of your business. You can work with the Justin to determine what areas of your businesses you would like to highlight, or even exclude from the shoot. Once again, the goal of the photographs is to show customers what they would expect to see if they visited your business on a normal day.

Will the photo shoot disrupt my business operations?

You’re running a business, and that’s why we’ve designed the photo shoots to be as non-disruptive as possible. Shortwork360° will work around your schedule to ensure that photos are taken at a convenient time for you.
Photo shoots do not require any sort of special equipment or cumbersome lighting, so you are free to stay open. Although photo shoots are non-disruptive and should not interfere with your normal business operations, it’s a good idea to let your customers know photography is in process and to avoid being in view of the camera, whenever possible.

Will people be included in the photo shoot?

Google want to keep the focus of the photos on the inside of your business, we aim to have as few people in the shots as possible. During the shoot, photographers may put up a sign and alert customers and employees about to be photographed.

As the business owner it would be your responsibility to notify your employees and customers that the photo shoot is taking place.


What measures are in place to ensure privacy and legal compliance?

Photo shoots will exclude any areas of your businesses which you would not like to feature. In addition, our photographers will always alert customers and employees before a photo is taken, to uphold their privacy. All panoramic imagery will be processed by our state-of-the-art blurring technology to blur out faces of any employees or customers who appear in the imagery. At any time you may request additional blurring or takedown of entire images through our Report a Problem link at either the bottom of the pano image, or within your Google+ Local page.

Who from my business can give legal permission for the photo shoot?

You must have the proper authority to allow a Trusted Photographer access to the business premises to collect photographs and to subsequently allow Google to use those photographs in its products and services. People with this authority include the owner of the business or a director or manager with the designation to make those commitments on behalf of the business. Please note that by agreeing to the terms and conditions and the Google Terms of Service, before your photo shoot, you are confirming that you have the authority to make that commitment.

Will Google be using the imagery in other applications besides Google+ Local pages?

Google may use these images in other products and services in new ways that will make your business information more useful and accessible to users. For example, further integration with Google Maps will allow customers to find these images easily from the 360-degree Street View imagery of nearby roads for many locations.

Do I own the photographs taken by Shortwork360°?

Yes, you will own the photos taken by Justin, once you have paid for this service and the shoot is completed. Keep in mind that by signing the agreement, provided by Shortwork360°, you will also license the use of the photos to Google who will publish the imagery.

Can I review the photos after they are taken and before they go live on my Google+ Local page?

Because of the technology takes individual unstitched and unreviewed images that need considerable processing after they are uploaded by the photographer, to produce the attractive ‘walk- through’ experience, you will not be able to review the images before they are uploaded to Google.

Can I blur the images or take down all panoramas from my business listing?

Yes, if you see a major issue you can ask us to blur some areas in each of the panoramic images. You may also ask us to take down all panoramas. At this time we are unable to take down individual panoramas. To request blurring or takedown click on the “Report a Problem” link on the specific images where you see issues and provide the requested information. Please note that the blurring/removal process may take several days.

Could my photos be removed for other reasons?

Yes, your photos might be removed if they are found to violate the Google photo policy. Although all business images undergo quality review before being uploaded, some photos may still be reported as inappropriate and later removed. The complete photo policy can be found here.

If I’m not the business owner, can I request the removal of a photo?

Similar to our policy for Street View imagery, our “Report a Problem” tool enables users to request further blurring of images that feature the user in the 360-degree imagery. Users can also request the removal of images that display inappropriate content, and business owners can ask us to remove 360-degree images taken by photographers through the “Report a problem” link or the “Report inappropriate photo” link for feature photos.


Extra Information

How do I verify my Google Places page?

To view the PDF instructions to verify your Google Places page click here.

Can I have a repeat photo shoot?

Absolutely! Many businesses who have recently renovated their interiors or that have seasonal décor will request a re-shoot, and Shortwork360° offers a 20% discount for re-shoots.

Remember that you can always upload your own up-to-date photographs through Google+ Local as well.

Can I embed the Tour on my business website?

Yes, we encourage you to share the walk-through experience of your business with your customers. To embed the 360-degree panoramas on your website, simply find the HTML snippet from a good point of view of the panoramic imagery on Google Maps(classic version), click on the “Link” button , click “customize and preview embedded map,” and then copy and paste the HTML to embed in your website.

If you’re looking for even more customizability with your images, check out the Google Maps API.

How do I embed the Tour on my website?

We can do this for you, for a one off charge of £25. We’ll need login/passwords which you can change once we’re done. We can also add it to your Facebook Page as well.

  1. Navigate around your business Virtual Tour and choose the position and angle you would like your virtual tour to start from, use the arrows as shown in red circle.
  2. Click on the ‘Link’ icon.
  3. A new box will open containing the URL link and the HTML code to your virtual tour – It is the HTML code we will be using.
  4. Simply Copy & Paste the HTML text into your website. The virtual tour will be copied at the standard dimension of Width=425 Height=350
  5. If you wish to create bespoke dimensions for the virtual tour simply click ‘customise and preview embedded map’. A new window will open, select ‘custom’ and enter your desired dimensions accordingly, this can be seen in the red box to the right.
  6. We recommend that you do not create a width which is over 1000 pixels wide as many mobiles and tablets cannot view websites over 1000 pixels wide.
  7. Go to your website and confirm the virtual tour appears exactly as you intend it to look.
How do I embed the Tour on Facebook?

We will do this for you – for a one off fee of £25 – or you can follow the following steps if you prefer to do it yourselves.

1. Log into your Facebook “Business” account then go to the Woobox App and install it.

2. Go to your Facebook page and click on the new Woobox tab titled ‘Welcome’. Authorise the Tab application when prompted.
(Note: if you don’t see the new tab, click the little tab drop-down located just to the right of your fourth tab. This will reveal your additional tabs).

3. In a separate browser window, go to Google Maps and locate the virtual tour that you want to embed. In the tour, navigate to the starting position you want it to have, then Click on the ‘link’ icon near the top left, then click on the ”Customize and preview embedded map” link.

4. When the new window pops up, click the “Custom” radio button and set the custom width at 800 and the height at 550. Copy the code. (Note: To select all the code, it is best NOT to drag your mouse to select, but instead to either triple click, or click once and then hit Ctrl+C (PC) or Cmd+C (Mac) to copy the code to your clip board).

5. Paste the code from your Google Tour into your Woobox custom Facebook tab. Be sure to enable the ‘wide mode’ to show a big window. Change the name of the tab to whatever you want. Save your settings.