If you live in an area that the Google Street View Car hasn't gotten to yet, the tech giant wants your help. In an effort to improve Street View coverage in hard-to-reach areas, Google is enlisting the aid of individuals and organizations alike via a new initiative.
Called the "Street View Ready" program, the initiative aims to give citizens the power to capture and submit their own high quality Street View images -- whether they're walking, biking, driving or even horseback riding -- by allowing them to purchase and use certain approved third-party cameras.
The first (and so far the only) Google-approved camera comes from Chinese camera manufacturer Insta360, called the Insta360 Pro. With 360-degree 8K "ultra HD" capture technology and an upcoming 5FPS recording mode, the Pro seems perfectly suited to the high-detail imagery Street View is known for.
However, with a $3,500 asking price the Pro will be well out of the reach of many prospective Street View mappers. More certified cameras are on the way (about 20 in total) this year, but for the time being Street View mapping will likely be limited to organizations and individuals with extra cash to burn.
Insta360 noted that Google plans to loan out about 50 Insta360 Pros to certain individuals and groups.
If you do plan to pick up a Pro and start mapping your local area, you'll need to download the official Street View smartphone app to control the camera from within your vehicle. You'll then be able to submit your images to Google, who will accept them if they meet their quality standards.