Tim Colling

Local Search Expert
LocalU Member
Sep 3, 2014
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A client has asked me about this topic because she was approached by a person in her city who says that he's a Google Trusted Photographer and that only he can make changes to her Google maps listing, including corrections.

I think she's mistaken about his claims, but I'd like to find out more about the program and about his claims.

I have this link for the program description and a list of the Trusted Photographer member:


Frankly, I found that site a little wanting in terms of having a concise and understandable description of the program, at least from the point of view of a local small business owner.

Can anyone recommend a link to a better program description?
Can I check out the person who approached my client, just to check out his bona fides.



LocalU Faculty
May 17, 2013
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I think there is likely some confusion miscommunication going on here, like you alluded to.

As far as I know only a Google Trusted Photographer can make edits etc to the 360 store view that they upload. We had a huge problem a year or so ago with a location that transferred ownership/brands and had a 360 store view that had all the old branding.

Maybe that has since changed, but this is something Joy or Linda would likely know more about.


LocalU Faculty
Top Poster Of Month
Jul 18, 2012
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Sounds like a slimy sales tactic similar to those people that call and tell you your listing will vanish if you don't claim it (farthest thing from the truth).

Anyone can make edits to listings on Google Maps, even users.



Jan 21, 2015
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Hi Tom,

if if that is what the photographer told your client then I wouldn't trust anything they say. Joy is right - those claims are not true and do sound like a dishonest scammer to me.

As for the Street View | Trusted program, the list of providers on the website you linked to are Certified, but uncertified people can also provide the service - which is to capture 360 degree imagery of the business using Street View technology and publish it to Google Maps. Certification simply means you've published Google's minimum number of virtual tours recently and doesn't cover other important factors like quality or good business practices.

As with any service, there is a wide degree of skill and ability marketing this. While there isn't a single place to research a provider, I'd first look at their website, make sure the tours they are promoting are attributed to them and not someone else (using a desktop browser look at the tour in Google maps and the photographer's name is in the top left corner) and check out references.

if you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.

(I've been an active photographer in the program for several years and am also a Map Maker regional lead)

Jim Whitesell
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