Street Level Photography: Quick Poll Results

The number of responses and methodology make it representative of nothing other than the people who answered. But I figured I’d make public the results:

Are street-level images (e.g., Google StreetView) valuable to consumers?

  • Yes –14.3%
  • No85.7%

Why do you think that Google and Microsoft are investing so heavily in advanced mapping features?

  • It’s driven by competition; they’re trying to “out do” one another — 28.6%
  • They recognize that these features will create better products that bring consumer loyalty57.1%
  • They’re misguided because consumers don’t use these features and just want good basic maps and directions –14.3%

These results are very strange. The overwhelming majority feel that these images are NOT valuable to consumers. Yet most people said that Google and Microsoft are creating better products by investing in street-level photography.

I’m confused.

9 Responses to “Street Level Photography: Quick Poll Results”

  1. Perry Says:

    Valuable vs. “engaging” are different concepts.

    Immersive interfaces cut through the noise. Engagement value perhaps? I’d consider this to be “distribution value” not “product value”.

    When was the last time you saw the Yellow Pages displayed as a coffee table book?

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    But what is a better product if not one that is more valuable to consumers? LOL re YP as a coffee table book

  3. Danny Says:

    Perhaps, people do not think street level images are valuable NOW in their present state. But they also think that these feature will, in the future, create better products. But you are right, the results are confusing.

    Streetviews are a novelty right now but if they are able to make it available everywhere and updated more frequently, than it could become a better product.

  4. Ben Saren Says:

    I agree with Danny. I think Google and Microsoft, and others, realize that while street-level imagery may not have a strong value proposition today, it will in the near future. At CitySquares.com, we’re debating whether we want to move ahead with some street-level imagery partnership opportunities in our new platform (slated for October). One of the things that’s holding us back is just that: is there a strong enough value proposition to be made to consumers, as well as merchants? Also, from a user experience perspective, I think there are certainly many wrinkles that need to be ironed out. And how does, say Google or Microsoft, keep that imagery fresh?

  5. Greg Sterling Says:

    If it’s refreshed annually or semi-annually that’s probably okay. A mix of strategies needs to be used, including getting the business owners to upload photos (and later video).

  6. Ben Saren Says:

    Is that realistic though? I mean, we’re talking about a lot of geographies here. I know of one street-level-imagery company that has plans to refresh their imagery much less frequently… like once every 3-4 years. I agree with you, that the imagery probably has to come from the businesses themselves, but that’s a whole other conversation. (Doing what we do here every day, I just can’t see that happening in my lifetime!)

  7. Greg Sterling Says:

    Here’s the issue, which is not academic: imagery is going to be more and more important to the online experience. Everybody doesn’t have to match Google or MSFT. But they will have to have visual information about businesses (whether from third parties or the businesses themselves). Figuring out, given resource limitations, at what level to engage with photography (and video) is the challenge.

  8. Ben Saren Says:

    Greg, I’m looking forward to chatting with you in Denver! 🙂

  9. Sarabjit Says:

    According to me Strretlevel Photography for these portals plays very important role as anybody searching for any subject gets abundent response. If Streetlevel solve the purpose then why to go fo the advance level.

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