Googler chimes in in our forums with tips to improve your Photo Spheres.

We're slowly seeing more and more emphasis being put on Photo Spheres, and Google is offering a few tips with a new tutorial video. Between software improvements for taking Photo Spheres in Android 4.3 and new ways to upload and share them on Google Maps, you want to be able to take the best 360-degree views possible. The main tips may seem counterintuitive, but Google seems to have worked out a system here:

  • Hold the phone close to your body
  • Keep the phone in portrait orientation
  • Make full rotations holding the phone at each angle until a full 360 is achieved

ThatAdamGuy, a Googler working on Photo Sphere has also chimed in in our forums to offer a few tips, mirroring many of the things pointed out in the video. He says that Google is working to create more documentation for Photo Spheres, which should help users get a better hold on the technique for creating great images. 

If you're interested in working on your Photo Sphere skills or have a question about the topic, hit up the forums below to join in on the discussion.

More: Photo Sphere tips from the AC forums

There are 25 comments

elvisgp says:

That's so awesome that we have a Googler in our forums!

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mcgowan398 says:

I wonder if Google did this because people weren't using photosphere as much as they wanted them to. Either that or Google is just really helpful :D. They did the same thing with the original Nexus 7.

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still1 says:

they did it because people were taking photosphere wrong. the tutorial mainly points out how to hold the phone and how to Tilt it

slackerjack says:

I wanted to see the title of this articles end read as "because most of you sick at taking photosphere's"

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jwyche007 says:

It's painfully obvious Google wants to crowd source Google maps with this.

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shonangreg says:

And to move people into google plus as well. You don't even need an account to see the photosphere display if you have a direct link, right?

Either way, once you start visiting plus to view photospheres, then you can easily begin making some contacts, looking at their photospheres, and encouraging all those people asking you about what you're doing slowly turning around with your non-iPhone to check examples on google plus.

I hope it works, and I hope Google doesn't intend to keep this protected by some proprietary format once it is successful.

arathkone says:

Interesting they mention holding in portrait since now with 4.3 you don't actually need to as you no longer get the holes top and bottom!

I wonder if this is indicative of Google looking/preparing for a Play Store release of the Gallery/Camera App?!

neonworm says:

They do have the stock camera app on Google play.

arathkone says:

Really, are you sure? Got a link?

mcgowan398 says:

Haha, there's not an actual stock android camera app (well, not that I know of :P ). There's a lot of technical instructions to get it, but Android Central made an article about it not to long ago.

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arathkone says:

Yeah, sideloading the APK released a few weeks back works for many people but it's far from official and due to the references to "Android" not "Nexus" in the Youtube/Views page maybe hints that Google are looking to create an official Play release.

mcgowan398 says:

√√well said

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smotrs says:

Yep, that's how I got it. :-)

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theduce102 says:

The volume rocker on that nexus 4 looks a little off. Too curvy.

reeper55 says:

I am ashamed to admit that as an owner of a GNex and a Nexus 10 I have never even attempted a photoshpere. What kind of Googler am I?

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KidCuda says:


I can't get over how awkward it looks taking one though. Watching someone rotate in circles over and over again. It is a cool feature though and hey I guess I shouldn't care how I look to others haha

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But it's worth the moment of awkwardness.

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dragonherder says:

I have had more luck with photospheres after the 4.3 update it seems to stitch together a bit better or at least prompt better on what you should be doing with it (tilts and all)

Mobius360 says:

Love me some photospheres. Need to use the feature more often.

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so that is the reazon i was getting those horrible spheres, i was making them in landscape....

will try again later in portrait mode

Any tips on taking spheres where you'll be snapping multiple light levels (i.e. inside/outside, under an awning, etc)? I find that even when the stitching is fine, the lights and darks aren't blended, making the stitches painfully obvious.

rob6raham says:

Great, if I wasn't already getting looks for slowly spinning in a circle, now I have to hold it an inch from my face.

I find they're useful for taking 120 degree photos of what I'm doing (e.g. in a stadium, gig) as it gives a much better impression of the experience than a flat photo. Rarely bother to spend the time doing the full 360.

ThatAdamGuy says:

johnforamerica, the camera in Android 4.3 does a better job with varying light levels and in general, Photo Spheres come out nicer :)
Everyone, thanks for the feedback and for giving Photo Sphere a try!

shonangreg says:

I've found on my Nexus 7 (2013) (N7b), when using portrait mode, I get 12 images in one rotation at eye level. One level above and below that are 9 more (totaling 12+9+9=30), then 3 more at the top and bottom (30+3+3=36) A 36-sided figure is called a triacontahexagon or triacontakaihexagon or hexatriacontagon. (perhaps useful search terms / hashtags)

You can skip around and take the photos in nearly any order.

Landscape mode gives 10 images in the center strip, then 8+8, 5+5, and 1+1. 38 sided: triacontaoctagon or triacontakaioctagon or octotriacontagon.

You can also use this pattern to enable you to get on the other side of the lens and do a triacontahexa-selfie or a triacontaocta-selfie ;-)