Is Google Street View Taking Its Cameras Indoors?
New York City nut and candy shop, Oh Nuts, e-mailed Search Engine Land claiming a representative from Google came in and took photos of the store and its products for a new feature tentatively called Google Store Views. The store provided images from the security camera showing a person moving around the shop taking photos with a tripod, but all that proves is that someone was moving a camera around the store.
The ability to "walk in" to a store from Street View could potentially save time browsing for items (not always a good thing if you ask most small shops) and offer free publicity for shops. On the other hand, it could amplify the privacy concerns that sporadically surface about Street View. We contacted Google for comment, and got a response similar to what Search Engine Land and Mashable received:
In the land of Internet rumors, a non-denial is almost the same as confirmation. Which is a shame, because something seems very off about the whole thing to us. First off, no other businesses have reported anything similar. If Google was going to start allowing Street View users to move indoors, a small nut distributor in Brooklyn seems to be an odd first choice. And while we know that the scope of the project wouldn't necessarily deter The Big G, the difficulty involved in getting consent from every business involved would prove to be a legal nightmare. Lastly, and perhaps most tellingly, is the camera the "Google" Representative is using. The photographer seems to be lugging around a pretty standard looking camera on a tripod. If Street View was going to head indoors, it would only make sense that a 360-degree camera similar to the ones used in the streets would follow. [From: Search Engine Land]"We are always experimenting with new features for Google Maps. We have nothing further to announce at this time."