Unveiling the Magic: How Google Street View Software Powers Virtual Tours

CloudPano Editorial Team
April 30, 2024
5 min read
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How does the software for Google Street View virtual tours operate?

Users of Google Maps can view the entire world in 360 degrees thanks to the Google Street View feature. It combines billions of panoramic images that were taken by specialized cameras mounted on bicycles, vehicles, boats, backpacks, and even animals. But how does the software that powers this incredible technology operate? And how can you design your own virtual tours using Street View for a professional or personal project? These and other inquiries will be addressed in this article.

man in brown t-shirt and black pants holding black dslr camera
Google Street View Photographer

Basic Principles of Google Street View

The foundation of Street View is an approach known as image-based rendering. This indicates that the software uses images as the source of information rather than building a 3D model of the environment. To create a seamless panorama, the images are aligned and blended together after being captured from various angles and positions. To determine how far away from the camera each pixel in the image is, the software also makes use of depth maps. By doing so, it is easier to achieve a realistic perspective and prevent distortions when navigating the panorama.

The panoramas are located on the map by the street view software using geographic information system (GIS) data. Coordinates, elevation, roads, landmarks, and other features are all included in GIS data, which is used to organize and display spatial information. In order to identify and obscure faces, license plates, and other sensitive information in the images, the software also employs machine learning algorithms.

aerial view of city buildings during daytime
Panoramic City

Making your own virtual street tours

You will need a few things to make your own Street View virtual tours:

  • a camera that works with Street View. Numerous choices are available, ranging from entry-level cameras like the Insta360 ONE X2 or GoPro Max to high-end models like the Insta360 Pro 2 or Labpano Pilot Era. Here is a list of cameras that are compatible.
  • a tripod or mount for your camera. For outdoor scenes, you can use a vehicle or helmet mount, and for indoor scenes, you can use a mini tripod or monopod.
  • a computer or smartphone with an internet connection. To adjust your camera's settings, preview your photos, and upload them to Google, you'll need this.
  • an account on Google. To manage and share your 360-degree imagery, you must have access to the Street View Studio.

To make your own Street View virtual tours, follow these steps:

selective focus photography of person holding DSLR camera
Camera on a tripod


Take pictures in 360 degrees. To start and stop recording, change the exposure, resolution, and other settings, use the app or software that came with your camera. If your camera supports them, you can also use voice commands or a remote control. Make an effort to record videos that are steady and without too much shaking or tilting. If you can, stay away from taking photos of people's faces or license plates.


Add your 360-degree pictures. Your 360-degree videos and photos can be uploaded using the Street View Studio. Multiple files can be uploaded at once, and you can preview them before processing. Additionally, you can edit your photos by changing the brightness, contrast, saturation, and other settings.


Publish your 360-degree pictures. You can publish your images to Google Maps once they have been processed. They can also be linked to additional images to produce a virtual tour. To indicate the direction of movement between the images, use arrows or links. To give more details about the locations, you can also add labels or descriptions.
Benefits of virtual street view tours

For both you and others, creating your own street view virtual tours can be very advantageous.

Googel Street View

By giving prospective customers a virtual tour of your facilities, goods, or services, you can attract new business. This could improve your online engagement, credibility, and visibility.
If you take 360-degree photos or videos of special locations or occasions, you can share your experiences with friends and family. They may feel more involved and connected as a result.
By mapping areas that Google and other sources do not cover, you can benefit society. This can benefit local residents, visitors, researchers, emergency personnel, and anyone else who requires current and accurate spatial information.

With the aid of the Google Street View virtual tour software, you can explore and make 360-degree panoramas of the entire planet. It stitches together billions of images taken by specialized cameras using image-based rendering, depth maps, GIS data, and machine learning algorithms. Using a compatible camera, a mount or tripod, a smartphone or computer, and a Google account, you can make your own street view virtual tours. Using the Street View Studio, you can upload and share your 360-degree photography. By showcasing your company, sharing your experiences, and making a positive impact on society, making your own street view virtual tours can help you and others.

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CloudPano Editorial Team

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