Thursday, February 26, 2009

Explore more with User Photos in Street View

Starting today, a new feature lets you browse popular user-contributed photos from Panoramio at major landmarks around the world. The many people who virtually visit Paris to see the famous Eiffel Tower or the Notre Dame cathedral in Street View can now also browse the wide array of user photos taken in the vicinity. Just look for photo thumbnails at the top right of the Street View image, and click to view. You can also connect directly to the community behind this great photo content - a link to the author's Panoramio page is shown with every user photo.

Notre Dame

The feature is available in many other places too: New York, San Francisco, Rome, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sydney and New Zealand, to name just a few. Anywhere, really, where Street View is available and where users have contributed lots of high-quality photos; of course, this usually is near famous landmarks but you never know where you'll discover more to see. With user-contributed photos you can inspect architectural details and close-up quirks, or see what is happening at a place at more than one time of day, or see whatever else it was that inspired the photographer to press the button. Take a look at this video to see more:

If you are a Panoramio user, you may already have a photo in Street View. If not, what are you waiting for? Just contribute your best photos to Panoramio and remember to geo-tag them. Google's image-matching algorithms will analyze them at some point to see if they are also a good match for a Street View location. At the most famous places in the world, competition for space is already tough -- take a look at the range of images of the Sagrada Familia -- but on less travelled roads the world is still largely a blank canvas. Please help to fill it in!

Posted by Frederik Schaffalitzky, Software Engineer, Google Zurich