I interned in the Street View team at Google. Google currently collects most of the imagery present on Street View using Google created Street View cars and camera. This effort of collecting imagery is highly supervised and targeted; however, it is a big operational effort and is a large cost center for the team. The aim of my project was to explore an operational model where an enterprise partner with a fleet of vehicles can collect imagery for Google in exchange for a value exchange that can be derived from the imagery and/or the spatial information collected along with the imagery.
To convert this very broad goal into a manageable chunk of work, I interviewed various sales and customer facing teams to determine the various ways in which Street View adds value to the lives of our users/customers. I then broadened those values and created a list of industries that could use each of those values of Street View at scale. After having a list of the industries, I defined a few criterion that later helped me determine which industry/partner category is the most valuable to Google. These criterions included various operational efficiency metrics like cars of partner needed to cover the scale we want to, refresh frequency of the partner etc. These criterions helped me do a first level of filtering of the partners. I then conducted a detailed financial analysis on the partners filtered in from the last step. Based on the financial analysis, I selected one of the partners that is the most financially promising, and started preliminary partnership discussions with the partner. The partner responded very positively to the value exchange offered, and is willing to quickly move into a pilot with Street View. In planning for the pilot, I also helped my team overcome some technical issues like high lead time in developing a technology solution the partner needs, and strategic issues like managing team’s relatively less experience in working with enterprise customers.