Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New search engine

Today we made some improvements in the search enginge of Panoramio's homepage and the World Map. Now you can search for:

- Streets in some countries: "Third Avenue, New York", "Ramblas, Barcelona".

- Landmarks: "Eiffel Tower", "Mount Fuji" or "Cape of Good Hope"

- Names in different languages: Saragossa/Zaragoza, Nueva York/New York, Köln/Cologne, Leipzig/Lipsia...

- More flexible inputs: Add the province/state/country to the name of the location to quickly find places with common names: "Cox, Spain", "Cox, California" or "Cox, England".

The D-Day and Omaha beach

Saving Private Ryan maybe is the most realistic film ever made about the landing of the Allied forces in German-occupied France on June 6th 1944, but with so many explosions and fast camera movements you can't really see the place at the film. This mini-panoramio can help you with that:

Around Omaha you can discover several never ending cemeteries and take a look at the strategically located Pointe D'Hoc where fierce fights took place.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Chernobyl and the abandoned city of Prypiat in Ukranie

You might have seen on TV see images of the sarcophagus that covers the reactor number 4 from Chernobyl Nuclear Plant that exploded in the accident, but this mini-panoramio gives you a wider perspective:

Actually there is not very much to see around the plant, but what is really amazing is taking a virtual walk in the abandoned city of Prypiat. This city was very close to Chernobyl and its 50.000 inhabitants had to be completely evacuated after the accident. I never have seen such a green city, after 18 years trees grew everywhere:

Residents from Prypiat were only allowed to take away a suitcase full of documents, books and clothes that were not contaminated. Apartment buildings, swimming pools, hospitals and other buildings were all abandoned, and everything inside the buildings was left behind, including records, papers, TVs, children's toys, furniture, valuables, and clothing, etc. that any normal family would have with them. Practically the city is a museum documenting the late Soviet era.

The Exclusion Zone is considered relatively safe to visit, and several Ukrainian companies offer guided tours of the area. Prypiat and the surrounding area will not be safe for human habitation for several centuries to come. It will take 300 years for the most deadly radioactive isotopes released by the accident to decay. After that the area may be used for most human activities again. High radiation has not prevented wildlife from entering the area; wild animal populations are actually quite large in the exclusion zone, capitalizing on the lack of human occupation.

Source: Wikipedia