Studio360.Pro has been a Certified Google Trusted Street View Photographer for almost 4 years. For most of that time Google guidelines have prevented us from publishing Street View virtual tours with identifying personal information. This meant that if people were present during the 360° photography session that their faces were required to be blurred using Google blurring software technology. Anyone who has seen a Google Virtual Tour with people knows how distracting this can be to the final 360° images. Additionally, if there is a lot of movement while capturing the panoramas, it will cause motion blurs which can further degrade from the final presentation.
Late last year, Google updated their guidelines shifting the responsibility of protecting personal information to the photographer. This meant, that for the first time, we were allowed to publish people's faces provided we had their permission to do so.
We were recently hired to photograph and create Street View tours for the Ridley-Lowell Technical Institutes Campuses in Danbury, New London and West Warwick. Initially, we were planning to photograph the campuses void of people. The client asked if it would be possible to photograph the classrooms while in session. My response was, "People make the picture"! They also help to tell a story. Virtual tours are meant to be an immersive experience for the viewer. Navigating through a bunch of empty classrooms would allow users to virtually "see inside" the schools campuses, but including the students and faculty would help tell the story and convey a real feeling for what the schools are like.
After some further discussion, it was decided to photograph the schools while in session. Signed photography model releases were required for everyone who wanted to participate in the photo shoots. Those students and faculty members who did not want to be included simply left the room for a couple minutes while the panoramas were taken.
I think the results speak for themselves. Take a look at the custom tour we put together combining all three campuses here: https://studio360.pro/clients/ridley-lowell/
Let us know if you want people included in your virtural tour!