Hey, you got your photos in my map

by Mathew on May 8, 2008 · 11 comments

It seems I accidentally tripped over something new at Google Maps this morning: I happened to be looking at the houses for sale in our area — a recreational pursuit of mine — and when I mapped an address using Google Maps, all of a sudden thumbnail photos started popping up here and there. Then a little while later I saw a Twitter message from Steve Rubel about Google Maps adding photos, and it all made sense. The site is apparently integrating both Picasa and Panoramio photos, as well as videos from YouTube and user-created maps.

Adding geo-tagged or otherwise location-oriented photos to Google Maps has been an option for some time under the “My Maps” tab — which also allows you to do things like calculate distances between two points, or see the weather for a specific location. But now Google is apparently adding the photo feature as a default. It’s not clear to me whether it’s only photos that have been geo-tagged, or whether it also includes photos that have specific keywords in them.

I think this is an interesting feature (although there’s obviously lots of potential for abuse as well, which I’m sure Google is aware of). And it also seems as though this could be either a competitive issue or a potential partnership opportunity for companies like PlanetEye.com, where my friend and fellow mesh organizer Mark Evans works. If Panoramio is already integrated into Google Maps, then presumably other companies could as well. (Note: I didn’t realize that Panoramio was owned by Google until I read MG Siegler’s post; I agree that it would be good if Google Maps could integrate photos from other services as well).

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  • http://www.parislemon.com MG Siegler

    Yep Google bought Panoramio in July 07, it really hasn't gotten a lot of buzz though even though they supply most of the photos on Google Earth and now this. Not sure why they haven't merged it with Picasa, seems like we have a Yahoo Photos/Flickr situation brewing…

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Yeah, that just seems dumb. Maybe they forgot that they own both of them :-)

  • http://mrinal.vox.com Mrinal

    This would be nice since today we use Flickr photos to mash it up on Google's MyMaps to show our customer testimonials: http://tinyurl.com/yr62jl

  • Brad_King

    And imagine what may happen as newspapers find ways to create these types of mashups with their local community. The limits know no bounds.

  • http://ericrice.com Eric Rice

    As an aside, there is a Google Earth overlay for Flickr photos that have been Geotagged. It's amazing how few pics there are with Panoramio vs. Flickr (well not amazing but heh)

    KML overlay here: http://kmlphotos.metaltoad.com/

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Thanks, Eric.

  • http://rezzing.com Eric Rice

    As an aside, there is a Google Earth overlay for Flickr photos that have been Geotagged. It's amazing how few pics there are with Panoramio vs. Flickr (well not amazing but heh)

    KML overlay here: http://kmlphotos.metaltoad.com/

  • http://www.mathewingram.com/work mathewi

    Thanks, Eric.

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