A number of headlines have broadcast recently featuring the introduction of Google’s new indoor street view product, but is this really the answer? The product is aimed at creating a more comprehensive product and has been trialled in a number of museums previously as part of the Google Arts program. The museum project is an excellent use of the street-view technology and allows easy navigation around the museum and view/bookmarking of art pieces of interest.
So there would appear to many benefits to the idea, but, what are the downsides? Firstly, how often are the images updated? The majority of street-view imagery was collected within the last year, and while this may be suitable in slow changing environments is it going to be suitable for the rapidly changing retail market. For example, retailers appearing to stock a product now unavailable and consequently appearing out of date.
Secondly the present system requires user to access the service through Google places rather than through the current street-view interface. This does reduce the smooth transition between services although there is some speculation that this is just a matter of time with a critical mass of indoor-view services available.
I look forward to hearing people’s own views as to this development.