Montana Megan (Megan Coburn) is offering free Google Street View tours to businesses in her local town of Bozeman, MT.

Coburn is a Level 10 Local Guide and offers services via the Get Your Business Online program. Her primary business is in providing branding and marketing servicse as well as consultation and training.

Megan writes on her 360 Page:

"Due to confusion from clients (and the general public) over the service of 360 Tours, I am pleased to announce that I will be offering 360 Tours for free, beginning in March 2019. Tours will be offered according to personal availability and schedule, and will be uploaded under my personal account."
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Read more on Megan's 360 Tours Page

She explained further on her blog why she made this decision:

https://www.montanamegan.com/blog/why-i-don-t-charge-for-google-streetview-tours

Megan hosted an official Google Local Guides Meetup and followed it with a 'Free GSV Tours for Women-Led Businesses' promotion.

She lists several interesting points in her post:

#1) Google Local Guides activity is prohibited from being monetized; despite photographers being permitted to charge for GSV Tours. (It's a conundrum!)

#2) Consumer Cameras that can produce GSV Tours can be purchased for < $500

#3) Google Street View -- or any conversation about it -- is viewed as a negative sales pitch.

#4) Businesses are inundated with pushy sales calls [from people claiming to be Google, it's likely]

#5) Google Street View tours take [on average] a 'few minutes'

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I love Montana Megan -- I've had the pleasure of reading through her site, stalking her on Facebook, and taking a look at her tours.

https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/112109857260279978240/photos/


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I've made a few observations:

#1) The quality of Megan's panoramas are decent. I've seen some horrible stuff - and these seem to be right at that level where they look perfectly great on a cellphone, but I wouldn't classify they as professional. Her photography is thoughtful -- it looks like it's straight from her phone to Google (and I imagine she's shooting on a rather new Android phone with a capable camera). All in all, it's user generated content that does a pretty good job of representing the business and contributing to her client's online presence.

#2) Megan's Street View Tours do not appear to be accurately placed on the map and in viewing several of them, there appear to be no connections between each panorama. They seem to be simply captured on site and then uploaded. I would imagine that she is using the Google Street View app to do this.

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From my experience with Google, it would appear that Megan is embracing the Google Local Guides program, and what we often call "Google Street View" in the manner that Google seems to be most supportive of at this time.

Three words -- User Generated Content

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What are your thoughts? Is this the future of Google Street View?