Friday, May 30, 2008

Photos from the Panoramio meeting in London

Finally plans changed in the last minute and Joaquin Cuenca, the other co-founder of Panoramio, attended the Panoramio meeting in London instead of me last week. More than 40 people came to the Google offices and Joaquin told me they had a lot of fan chatting about the site and photography until late in the evening. After the meeting I received several messages from people happy to meet personally other users that they already met virtually time ago in Panoramio.

We projected photos from London from some of the attendants in the same way we did in Barcelona. Ade took some photos and we are collecting more photos in the forum.

Special thanks Liz Ericson from Google UK for the great organization.

Panoramio meeting in London

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Panoramio under Spam attack

Last weekend Panoramio suffered a Spam attack. Thousands of users were automatically created by a spammer and thousands of comments with malicious links were posted.

We reacted started deleting those fake users and comments using an internal automated script, but soon we realized that it was going to take too long for the database to delete all them, maybe several days. Therefore we did something that worked faster. We deleted all the text of those spam comments to eliminate the dangerous links. That worked immediately and that's why you will see now many spam comments without text. Gradually during the next days those fake users and the empty comments will be completely deleted. We also have temporarily disabled all e-mail alerts for new comments to reduce the impact of the spam in your mailbox.

Joaquin is working right now in adding a captcha (code inside an image) to the sign-up and to the "add a comment". A captcha is only readable by humans, so it should stop further automated massive attacks. However until the captcha is ready is possible you get some more spam.

Panoramio has been relavitely free of Spam for almost 3 years, but the more popular the site gets, the more probable is an attack. We are terribly sorry for this problem and we would like to apologize for all the trouble that it might have caused to you. I would like to thank all the people that reported the problem and helped to fix it, specially Panamon Creel who contacted snipUrl service and got them to disable the malicious links and block the IP of the spammer.

Monday, May 26, 2008

New update: photos up to ID 8920000 added to Google Earth

This time the update was smaller and photos up to ID 8920000 have been added to Google Earth, that means around 150,000 photos. The next update will be around June 27th and will include photos uploaded before June 10th.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Winners of Panoramio Contest of March 2008

Finally we are ready to announce the winners of the Panoramio monthly Contest for March 2008 edition. They are really cool photos among them. The sponsor ATP will contact the winners during the next days in order to send the prizes.

First Prize of Scenery category
First prize
taken in the FYRM by Neim Sejfuli ♦

First Prize of Heritage category
First prize
taken in Sicily (Italy) by Gibrail

First Prize of Travel category
First Prize
taken in Northern Italy by © Massimo De Candido

First Prize of Unusual Location category
First Prize
taken in Thailand by picsonthemove

Full list of winners

It took us a little bit more time than expected to organize everything, but this is the first edition and everything will be smoother for the next one. Also some people asked to reduce the number of photos submitted per user. We agree about that and for the June contest the number of photos per participant will be limited to 5.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Panoramio in Google Maps

Since last Thursday some searches in Google Maps displays photos from Panoramio in the left bar, including the option of watching more photos over the map. Try for example to search for "London" to get some cool photos from the city.

Also since today in Google Maps there is a new feature called "More..." located beside the satellite, map and terrain buttons. After clicking over "More..." you can check the option "Photos" to see Panoramio images displayed over the map in a cool interface.

I am very glad to have this new feature. I love it and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Panoramio meeting in London on May 22th

Now it is time for London. We would like to celebrate the 5 millionth photo shared on Panoramio with a meeting of contributors and friends on May 22th in London.

We will meet in the Google offices, where we will have an informal gathering and have something to eat and drink (BBQ if London's weather holds!) And of course, don't forget your cameras!

Space is limited to 75 people, so please, register using this form.

London

Date: 22 May 2008 from 18:30 to 21:30

Location:
Google's Office in London
Belgrave House
76 Buckingham Palace Road
London SW1W 9TQ - See location in Google Maps.

Photos from Panoramio meeting in Barcelona

The Panoramio meeting in Barcelona was great. The atmosphere was very nice and I was delighted to chat with Panoramio contributors. I felt very good there. The spectacular sights of Barcelona from the Mirablau bar and the "tapas" helped to create the right feeling. Take a look at this shot from Ulises888 to get an idea:

Tapas in Mirablau bar

People came little by little, but there were around 50 people at the end. We projected in a big screen some of the best shots from the attendants. Nino took many photos around, Javier recorded a video and we are collecting more photos in the forum.

I would like to thank the people from Google Spain; Clara, Nino and Anaïs, for all the help and the fantastic organization.