updated 06:26 pm EDT, Tue July 30, 2013
Google Views collects user Photo Spheres, maps out locations
Google has launched a new site for publicly sharing Photo Spheres with other users, via Google Maps. The Views site is said in a Google Blog to be a community site for users to contribute their own photo spheres to Google Maps, as well as showcasing the more popular 360-degree panoramic shots taken by the public, and images taken by the Google Street View team.
Photo Spheres were introduced in Android 4.2, and allowed users to make the panoramas using a smartphone or tablet, and would allow for multiple vertical layers to be added to enhance the sphere further. These images were previously able to be shared on Google+ and also appear under the new Google Maps, though does not appear to have been taken up by many users. The new site will show all Photo Spheres created by a user in one place, along with corresponding map locations for each image, and will allow for photo spheres created by other users to be located based on positions on Google Maps itself.
While it is said by Google that it created the site to encourage more Photo Sphere creation, The Next Web suggests that it is a way for Google to easily crowdsource more Street View-style content for Google Maps itself.