Google photographers are currently visiting businesses in select cities in the US, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Any business can apply for a photo shoot, and demand will help us decide where to send our photographers next. [maps.google.com ]
Google has really put some intensity into the local business market. Since it is so closely aligned with the mobile web explosion, it makes lots of sense. Here's hoping they can sort out the hodge-podge of problems that their previous execution created.
Actually paying their own photographers to create 360 degree images of local businesses is a remarkable step. Very few would do it on their own.