Google Store View Cameraman Spotted In The Wild

Reader Yankees368 was dining at Breeze NY when a Google employee tromped in and started taking pictures of the restaurant’s interior, including the food he was about to eat, for the Google Store View project.

The Google Store View project, officially announced in April, will allow Google Maps users to click on a store they see on the map and take a virtual tour inside. Google says the photographing sessions are arranged in advance working directly with the business.

Our reader says he spoke to the cameraman who told him that yes, he was working on the Store View project. Our reader noted that the worker wore a polo shirt with a Google logo on it and was using a Nexus phone.


Of the camera and process, Yankees368 says, “It was a simple DSLR on a tripod that was moved through the restaurant. The camera was rotated 90′ at each spot, and the camera was then moved deeper into the restaurant. At one point, he even took a picture of our food as it came out of the kitchen.

So sometime in the near future, you will be able to go to Google and see the exact dish I ate for lunch on July 2nd.”

Breeze NYC [Google Maps]

PREVIOUSLY: Is Google Planning To Add Store Views To Google Maps?


Edit Your Comment

  1. tatatoothy says:

    wh gvs sht?

  2. Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

    Do they have the store’s permission?

    While I recognize the right of photographers to take pictures in any publicly accessible place where there is no implied privacy (ie, you can’t shoot with a zoom lens inside someone’s window) but you can shoot inside a mall, for instance, even if they say “no photography” — As long as, when you are asked to leave, you do so (ie, not trespassing)

    However, by Google’s use on their website, that seems to imply commercial use, for which I don’t know how this first amendment right would stand up….

    Any thoughts?

    • Ben Popken says:

      yes, they do: “The photographs are shot by Google photographers who work directly with the business owner to arrange a time to do the photo shoot.”

      • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

        Noticed that after I read the related article :-)

      • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

        There you go again Ben. Stating facts and providing proof. Ruining someones rant with all that logic. :P

    • Sure I could agree with you, but then we'd BOTH be wrong. says:

      Okay, I just read the referenced article (PREVIOUSLY: Is Google Planning To Add Store Views To Google Maps?) and it explains that Google is working with the local businesses to plan times to shoot, so that answers the legality question.

      I wonder how it affects whether or not customers appear in the pictures….

      Normally, if a show is filming in a public area (ie, awards shows, reality shows, etc) there are signs posted that you may appear on television, giving people the warning and opportunity to leave if they don’t want to be filmed…

      • Yankees368 says:

        I assume that Google will use face blurring in the images, similar to Street View. I was not given any notice that this was going on when I was there.

        • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

          How do I formally request that instead of general blurring, I get a blue dot like they used in 80’s court case video?

    • anar440 says:

      I work in a DC pizza store. They guy came even before any employees arrived, so there were no customers when he was taking the pictures. I guess their equipment is uniform. Dude had DSLR camera, Nexus One and a blue Google polo shirt. It was the day USA was playing England, so we also got to drink some morning beer with him. BTW he told me that we were like 5th restaurant in DC they took pictures of.

  3. Tracer Bullet says:

    This sounds like a prearranged appointment. I would rather see a story on their street view cars war driving antics.

    • Tracer Bullet says:

      It might not prevent them, however it’s probably a good idea to start using hidden SSID’s on your encrypted wireless networks.

      • DanRydell says:

        Why would you feel the need to do that with an encrypted network? Are you afraid of other people knowing your SSID?

        • Virga says:

          Google relies on your SSID to generate their pointless new location finding scheme. You may be cool with google using your stuff to make their product. Some aren’t.

          I also wouldn’t frequent a business that lets in google cameras.

          • Nick1693 says:

            There have been other businesses doing that for much longer than Google.

            Example: Skyhook Wireless, which Apple uses for wifi-based location services on iPhone and iPod touch.

            (Also, it’s not SSID, it’s MAC address that’s used. MAC addresses rarely change.)

  4. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    so, do they get agreements from all patrons they photograph?
    is there some sort of agreement with the restaurant owners/management before they go in and take photos?

    • AI says:

      Google blurs faces now, so no consent is required

      • YouDidWhatNow? says:

        And actually, I’m not sure they legally need to do that.

        Certainly they don’t legally need to do that on the street, or in a park, or in any other fully-public area. Within a restaurant or other private business though, maybe they would.

        I’ve pretty much had it with people/towns who get up in arms about Google Street View though. You’re in public – people can take your picture. If you don’t like that, don’t go out in public.

    • peebozi says:

      this is unnescessary in a free market…why do you hate America?

  5. Alvis says:

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    • bitslammer says:

      Themselves if the store has mirrors.

      • nbs2 says:

        OOooooo…..I wonder how StoreView will handle that. Are we going to have lots of pictures of people taking pictures (assuming that there are several stores with mirrors).

  6. TheHaroldTimes says:

    “Honey, My Coworker Jim was looking at google store view for the Risque Cafe, and guess who he saw there?”

  7. MuffinSangria says:

    The article said that google works with the business owners, but what about the customers? Do they get permission from them? Do they give them something in writing say that the image would be blurred? Do they even care if a customer does not want to be photographed?

  8. PanCake BuTT says:

    I feel as if out of common courtesy & respect for the patrons, the owner could have put up a simple sign announcing that on such date and such time, Google will be there photographing the place and whomever is in it. He could have even even exploited the fact that Google was gonna be there for all those attention hunger folk who never mind having a picture taken of them.

    I could understand both P.O.V’s, from those who don’t like pictures taken of them without consent, to those who have the ‘who gives a F’ attitude.

    • AI says:

      Google blurs faces now, so no consent is required

    • mattarse says:

      I think if they said it was Google doing it the establishment would end up having a very busy day with lots of costumed customers :)

      I really want to get the bear rape costume from Super Troopers onto google street view!

  9. luftmenschPhil says:

    In Md. they have to post a notice that there is such videotaping and that by entering premises you consent to being recorded

  10. snarkysniff says:

    maybe they should work on updating the info they already have. two times last week i searched for a store (walmart and smart and final) both times i drove to the closest location shown and the stores were no longer there. map on iphone=fail

  11. dwb says:

    What we REALLY want to know, Yankees368, is this: Canon or Nikon?

  12. chaesar says:

    will provide pictures of women’s vaginas so I can see them before I ask a girl out?

  13. dreamfish says:

    People seem to have a real problem with the fact that, very soon, google will own most of the internet and quite a lot of your real life too. Get used to it.

  14. cantbecool says:

    I know too people that are doing this in Philadelphia. The sad thing is that they aren’t even professional photographers, just high school graduates that found a job through a temp agency. I guess Google will hire anyone to do menial tasks nowadays.

  15. pj1280 says:

    How about taking more pictures of that girl in blue?

  16. twophrasebark says:

    When is the Google Home View and Apartment View coming out?

    When will I wake up to find a Google cameraman in my apartment taking pictures of my cat and dirty laundry?

  17. djkrztoff says:

    I saw one of these guys at Tenoch (mexican restaurant) in downtown Seattle last week.

  18. Andy S. says:

    All your image are belong to us.

  19. peebozi says:

    yea, the free market will take care of this one.

    google: “we’d like to take pictures of the interior of your store.”
    store owner: “no thanks”

    2 days later….
    store owner: “where the fuct did my google listing go!?!?!?!!”

  20. madanthony says:

    I make my own pictures of my cat and my basement, at home.

    the cat cam

    No 360 degree views, but it is live…