Interested in 360 cameras? Wondering what all the fuss is about? Interested in testing a 360 camera and discovering how you can create your own Street View 360 images? Do you want to join the Google Street View loan program? Then read on…
Google announced an expansion of the Street View camera loan program to include 360 cameras. Currently available to loan in the Netherlands, Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States at time of writing Aug 2017. This is sure to increase over time.
Firstly you need to fill out a form and explain a bit about any projects you have in mind. If you participate in the Local Guides program they will fast-track your application. You can find the form here. The loan period is for 45 days at a time, you can apply for an extension and i will explain how to a little further down.
After I had applied, it took around 3-4 weeks to receive an email saying Congratulations! Your application for the Street View camera loan program has been accepted and also telling you which camera you will be receiving 🙂 Before they do send it to you though Google will ask you to fill out another form, the Street View camera loan verification. This is just to confirm you are actually ready to receive the camera, review the T&C’s and confirm your address.
Once they receive your response, they will proceed with the loan and ship the equipment, usually within in 2 weeks time. I received the item shipped email after 11 days with a tracking number, (they shipped mine using FedEx), all you do then is sit back and wait.
Here’s the equipment that I was sent.
- 1 Ricoh Theta S
- 1 Camera Pouch
- 1 USB Cable
- 1 Monopod
- 1 Mini Tripod
- 1 Helmet Mount
- Disposable adhesive strips (for helmet mount)
All you do then is email them to say you received the camera safely and your free to go out and shoot in 360 🙂
Requesting an Extension
To request an extension you will have needed to have taken at least 150 photos with the borrowed 360 camera and share some details about your experience with the camera by filling out this form.
Returning the Camera
When your loan comes to an end Google let you know via email. They will ask you to fill out a form and by using the packaging it came in, include photos of the camera itself back in its own box, top of the outer box with the other contents inside when all packed and one of the outer box again all sealed with labels correctly showing. After emailing them with this information they will then confirm they received it and a day or 2 later you will receive the return email containing the airway bill & return label you will need to print out. Lastly all you do is go to your nearest FedEx store or like I did call them to schedule a pick-up. Just tell them the number of your return label. They arrived to pick it up less than 3 hours after I had rang.
That’s it the whole process you will go through, hope you found this helpful.