This one's my business. They came to shoot the interior as a perk for participating in a "Google Offer". I think this is how they are rolling it out, at least in the Bay Area. To me, the results came out fine, although I worry that it now makes "casing the joint" a little easier.
It took them two visits to get it right. The first time apparently had some silly technical glitch where the automatic processor didn't stitch the photos together correctly. It took maybe 20-30 minutes for the full visit, which would make doing this universally quite a chore.
Also, you own a food business!?? I am fascinated by the idea, can you talk more about it?
I'm happy to talk about sorbet and food in general, but this thread doesn't seem like the right venue. My email is in my profile, or if you are in the area we could talk at the store some slow afternoon.
lol me too.
Opening my own ice cream shop (in the south Rockridge/Temescal neighborhood, no less!) has been my (half-joking) dream job if I decided to switch careers. When Scream Sorbet opened in Temescal, I was both excited and frustrated that someone saw the same market opportunity! <;)
The product was great, and while the margins were OK, a few farmers' markets a week proved not to be enough to cover all the various overheads. The friend dropped out because he needed something that would pay his rent, others got involved, and we kept adding markets. Then a fantastic location next to Bake Sale Betty came open, so we jumped on it. Now I just need to figure out how to get it to the point where it can sustain itself so I can get back to recommendations engines!
Feel free to stop by and say hi. If you're serious about a career change, would be a better manager of a sorbet company than I am (not hard), and don't need to make much money, maybe we can work something out. I'm proud of the product quality, but I'm sure there are people who could run it as a better business than I can. :)
Edit: and here http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Scream+Sorbet,+Oakland,+CA&...
You can see the tripod legs if you look down on any shot by clicking the "Down" arrow on the white wheel in the upper left of the interior shots. For our shoot, you can also get a pretty good reflected view in the doorway if you "stand" halfway outside then look left.
I assume they're working out the quirks so the process can be much smoother and they can do a row of businesses in a strip mall in the same amount of time.
The pancake (http://techcrunch.com/2009/06/04/introducing-the-pancake-a-l...) and the city-scale of things make moving on streets more tolerable (though Legoland is not bad: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=legoland&hl=en&ll=33.1...), what's the interface for person-scale, cramped interior navigation? Until there's a solid answer this doesn't seem very enjoyable.
The surrounding textures are pasted onto simple 3D rectangles approximating buildings and houses. As you move, they transition into each other, giving you the least distorted view possible. With a fast connection, it feels pretty realistic, like you're walking around the neighborhood.
Almost like how mipmaps, if done well in 3D games, aren't really noticeable.
I accidentally discovered some keyboard commands to navigate which feels slightly easier, though the constant pausing to re-render the image is wonky.
You might think you'd like to make a more open viewer, but Google won't let you. For example, someone reverse engineered the data formats (fairly trivial, they're just XML documents that point to the panorama jpgs) and Google cease and desisted their info off the web: http://igargoyle.com/streetview/
Each night after store closing, a Store View bot roams the aisles taking pictures and updating for the next day.
You browse to the store on Google Street View, go inside with Store View, and if you see an item you like, you draw a box around it and ask the image search algorithm to look for a match based on appearance. It finds the item, tells you how much it costs, and gives you the option to buy it.
Stores would get some basic frequency (annual?) of scan free, more frequent scans or keeping a bot on premises to scan every night would cost more. Integration of the online store would have a fee attached to every purchase. Prices and discounts could be updated daily and there could be different incentives for online vs. in-store purchases.
As data storage and computational power get cheaper and cheaper, and image recognition algorithms get more sophisticated, this would seem to be a potential outcome. A package of algorithms could even be marketed as a store manager: moving stock that has sat on the shelf too long with discounts, predicting what will require reorders soonest, integration with price comparison engines to analyze competitiveness, etc. Once imagery is dissectable and searchable in the same way that language is, things could get very interesting very fast.
I wonder about the benefits versus the costs to stores. Though you can already walk into a retail store and Google up an item on your phone to see if it's cheaper somewhere else... and you can already search for reviews of an item online, etc. I guess what is interesting here is that Google is delivering the physicality of a store to your screen; so conceivably some walk-ins that might have occurred just to check a place out will now occur online. On the flip side, turning every retail outlet into a 24 hour business has got to have some appeal.
Going really crazy with this, looking ahead to Google's driverless cars getting approval to run without a safety driver on board, you could Store View to your favorite cafe, put in your order for the caffeinated beverage of your choice, have the Google car drop by, the barista puts the drinks in a carrier in the back seat, the car picks up some Chinese food, energy bars, and a pair of earphones for you on the way back, you get a text telling you to go outside to pick everything up, you scan your GoogleID into the car, get your stuff, head back into the office and prepare to code all night. If you are so inclined, you drop a few bucks into the online tip jars of the coffee shop and restaurant. Based on your tip ratio, the star rating of the establishments in question are bumped up ever so slightly.
Google has the computers, cameras, and cars to take over the world of running errands.
You see this already with the self-checkouts at stores. You walk in, grab what you want, check out and leave without talking to anyone. This is just the start of a torrent of low level automation. At some point there is not a lot left to do.
"At some point there is not a lot left to do" reminds me of the story "With Folded Hands" by Jack Williamson. http://www.powells.com/biblio/61-9780312852535-0
Then you can answer the question "Where's the closest store with jumper cables?" Or really, "show me where the jumper cables are."
A very big map reduce job, but seems feasible.
I needed a USB hub the other day, and I couldn't really wait days for it to show up from an internet store.
I could search the website of a big (expensive) chain store, PC World, but we have lots and lots of tiny local computer stores, and supermarkets with small tech sections, whose inventory is an absolute mystery unless I was to go and expend gas driving around them all. I often just bite the bullet and pay over the odds at PC World because I know they have the item, and I won't have to spend money and time travelling round and round.
I've often thought "where's my nearest store that sells X, right now?" would be a neat idea for a startup. It sounds like an administration nightmare, though.
Example: Take a look at the GI Joe comic on your right all the way at the end.
And also have a digital assistant whose ethnicity changes based on who wanders into my virtual business.
Allow businesses to integrate their inventory systems with Google so that I can search for a copy of Strictly Turntablized and see that a used CD shop down the street has a copy.
Have the results include how many copies they have on hand, the price of the item, information about how to reserve the item and where I might find it in the store (floor, isle, shelf) if I choose to just run over there.
Actually it is not fisheye distortion that you describe at all - it is a rectilinear projection, and it's this type of projection that looks bad in a wide FOV. A fisheye projection looks much more natural if you are looking at a view with 110º FOV.
These things are not "distortion" at all but merely different projections of a spherical image on a flat surface. There is no "correct" way.
You can right-click on this panorama to change projection and understand more what I'm talking about.
Google presumably has a ton of data to do it going forward somewhat more easily, though, if filling in pre-streetview periods isn't a priority.
ETA: puzzled by downvotes. Satellite views can be updated on a regular basis with relative ease by a largely passive system, and what's imaged is rather static; street view updates come with re-driving every road which ain't easy or cheap and may need more frequent updates; interiors change even more often and imagery/data cost much more per byte to maintain. Sure, interior views are cool - what's the cost of obtaining, and more important maintaining, them?
I'm curious what long-term incentive would be for updates, though.
Here is the site if anyone is interested:
Long time HN reader, but this is my first post.
Go outside and lots of people walking around with blurred faces.
They too showed some interior and (I think) talked about "mapping" it. The talk is almost two years old so it suprised me that it's new in google maps. But I don't know if it's actually used in bing maps as I don't use them (just for the bird-eye occasionally).
Otherwise you'd see camera guys hiding behind trees and such, which is an amusing thought.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5EhK4jW8HYo (in German)
Good point, I cannot find this anywhere else at the moment.
btw, you've been hellbanned for about 52 days now, so no one can see your comments unless they have showdead=on.
Userinterface needs some improvement, how about using a mouse wheel to navigate forward/backword. Move mouse left/right to turn.
- Indoor navigation.
- Integration of live video streams at location.
I dragged the little guy around, and all it shows are streets that I can view (even a parking lot, which seems pretty retarded).
Perhaps someone was riding the bike and they're using content-aware filling to delete them!!
The only thing I can parallel this too is Googling your date before the first date. Going in knowing too much can often ruin the fun or the mystery of discovery.
Sure it might save you from "bad experiences", but we need bad experiences in life to really value the good ones!