Friday, July 20, 2007

Google buys Panoramio

Google has acquired Panoramio. Panoramio is a community that allows people to "map" their photos on Google Earth. The technology links the exact geographical location of where the photos were taken with that location on the map. Users can also view the photos in Google Earth and search and browse others' photos.

Panoramio was started in the summer of 2005 by Joaquín Cuenca Abela and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar, two Spanish entrepreneurs. It was officially launched on October 3, 2005, and by March 19, 2007, it had archived over 1 million user submitted photographs.

Panoramio has been a default layer in Google Earth since the beginning of this year. The company will move its operations to Zurich, where Google's European geo unit is headquartered.

Too often, contributing users upload worthless pictures of themselves, of their families, their homes, their cars, etc., or pictures having poor definition, lighting, etc., many of which get placed with no problems. There is no quality control or content filtering by Panoramio administrators. Also, Panoramio has never enforced any standards for naming photographs, so photos often get absurd names, having no meaning or coherence at all, in different languages (even in different alphabets), having mistaken or misspelled geographical names.

May be Google could streamline this after its acquizition.


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