I am a 'Local Guide - Level 3' on Google Maps. I usually go to places, take pictures and then post them on Google Maps (this way, users of GMaps get promoted from Level 1 up to Level 5).
I went to a subway and found it closed; 2 employees were inside doing the closing. I took a picture of Subway from its parking lot (to upload it later on GMaps). Just to confirm that Subway is closed, I asked them signalling if its open or not. Person came out and said they are closed and that I can not take pictures of Subway. I told the person that I am a Local Guide, and I usually do that and that I will be happy to talk to the manager. I will show him/her pictures and if he/she is fine, I will upload it on GMaps. Person had me talk to the manager on phone and she kept saying I can not post photo on GMaps and that it is illegal to post without Subway's permission. I found her very wrong in her opinion, so I asked her a hypothetical question: "Can I post a review about your Subway on GMaps." She categorically said it is illegal and I have to have Subway's permission before posting anything. No where in the vicinity I saw the signs that photographing the area is prohibited.
Are you asking if you can take a picture of a building from the outside and post it online?
Yes, you are allowed to do that. It is not illegal.
I think it's more debatable whether you can refer to Subway as a "restaurant"
Please don't take anything I as say as "legal advice" or act on it without talking a lawyer.
She is wrong, you are correct. You can take a picture from the street and post it online. A store does not have a right to prevent you from taking a picture of it, even if it posted a sign. You also have a right to post your review. Please note these are right available to everyone and being a Google local guide is not relevant to the analysis.
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