Google Camera: A new mobile reporting tool to create your own Street View

Google recently released a camera app, Google Camera, to mobile devices running Android 4.4 KitKat. Photo Sphere, one unique feature of Google Camera, makes it easy to create a custom Street View of a news scene and embed it in a news article.

The Photo Sphere feature, as described in this tutorial, allows mobile users to record a 360º view, looking similar to Google Street View, that a viewer can explore by going left and right, up and down, and zooming in and out.

This is a great tool for reporters who want to include an immersive view of a news scene (indoor or outdoor) where Google Street View is not available – we all know that Street View is only available along major roadways.

I took a test drive of Google Camera: recorded a Photo Sphere view on my Samsung Galaxy S4, shared the view (from within Google Camera) to Google Map, waited for the view to be approved and be public, and followed this tutorial to embed the view in this post.

The process was not quite intuitive and it took me some trials and errors (I will write a separate step-by-step tutorial). The result is beautiful, though: see below the embedded 360º view of a memorial park; use your mouse to drag the picture and pan left/right, up/down and zoom in/out.

Armed with some game-changing features, Google Camera aims to replace built-in camera apps on Android devices. Google Camera app was first launched in 2012, but only available on a few Android devices manufactured by Google. On April 16, 2014, the app was released in Google Play store to all devices running the latest Android 4.4 KitKat and above; it is not available to iPhone users, though.

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About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (, a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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2 Responses to Google Camera: A new mobile reporting tool to create your own Street View

  1. great tool…i can see many uses for it… hopefully they’ll release it to iphones too so the rest of us can use it too..

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