Thursday, September 30, 2010

Panoramio Stats: Where are my photos viewed?

Panoramio is a community photo-sharing site for geo-located images. Photos uploaded to Panoramio show up on its website, as well as other places such as Google Earth and Google Maps.

We’re excited to announce that detailed statistics are now available to users directly within their Panoramio account. Think of Panoramio Stats as a photo-specific version of Google Analytics for Panoramio - in other words, a powerful web analytics tool that helps you measure the performance of your photos. With this new feature, you can track the sites from which your photos have been viewed in visually appealing and intuitive reports.



These statistics are available for every photographer and surface granular information about each photo. For example, a reports for the last 30 days can be broken down by referral domain so photographers can see how many times their photos were viewed within Panoramio, on Google Earth, Google Maps, and through Panoramio’s Widget API.

Additionally, Panoramio Stats helps you identify your most recently viewed and most popular photos, and lets you know about new referral sites so you can track the latest online activity around your photos and figure out what types, styles or genres of your photos generate the most interest and help you improve your craft.

I would like to thank Balázs and Ana for their help building this feature.

As always we’d love to hear your thoughts on this cool new feature, so feel free to leave us your comments in the Panoramio Forum.

Winners of Panoramio Contest of July 2010

And here we have the winners of the Panoramio monthly Contest for July 2010 edition. Those photos were uploaded in July and voted in August. We will contact the winners via e-mail during the next 30 days in order to organize the prizes.

First Prize of Scenery category
Scenery First prize

taken in Spain by Achiper

First Prize of Unusual Location categoryUnusual Location First Prize
taken in the Taiwan by 乾龍

First Prize of Heritage categoryHeritage First Prize
taken in the UK by Faintlightofdawn

First Prize of Travel category Travel First prize
taken in Bolivia by Cristina Mery

Full list of winners

Congratulations!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Revamping the Photo Layer in Google Maps

Here at Google, we love the experience of browsing photos on a map, and today it just got a lot easier. We have launched an update to the design of the Photo layer in Google Maps to provide you with a better experience when browsing your favourite places:


There are three main improvements in this latest update:

Firstly, we have made improvements to the density of the photos on the map, making it easier to see clusters of photos in popular locations. On the screenshot above, you can now well see that there are a lot more photos taken on the coast than there are inland.

Secondly, we’ve made the small thumbnails partially transparent, making it easier to see the underlying map, and helping you to stay oriented. On the screenshot above, the city and neighbourhood labels are now more legible.

Finally, we are showing more information when you hover over a photo. Now, you can see a large thumbnail and the title of each image, so you can get a fast preview of what any photo looks like.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the new layer, so feel free to leave us your comments in the Panoramio forum.

Jonah Jones, User Experience Designer, Google Maps

Friday, September 24, 2010

Postcard from the meeting in Appenzellerland

We have just received a postcard from the Panoramiomeeting in Appenzellerland and I wanted to share it with the whole Panoramio community.



Many thanks for making us a part of your excursion, and please keep us updated in the forum Rendezvous in the real world about future meetings. We will join next time!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

From Hell to Hill

It is always a nice when Panoramio users meet to have a photo safari. This is what happened last Saturday in Switzerland and this is how Buelipix has explained it to us with his own words:

What happens if 14 cameras meet somewhere and bring along their owners?

Without doubt this is a Panoramiomeeting. This one happened on September the 18th in St.Margrethen in Switzerland.



After welcoming everyone (most participants knew each other from former meetings), we started driving with a skeptical look on the sky (the weather was not the best) and lots of good mood, to a parking lot just outside the city. after parking we had a short walk to the entrance of the fortress we were visiting, where we have been warmly welcomed by the management.

We were Panoramio users from Switzerland, Austria and Germany (with reinforcement from the Netherlands).

We used to shoot each other here with rifles and shells in the triborder region Switzerland-Germany-Austria just 70 years ago! Today, we fortunately are friends, no longer in war and our weapons are Canons, Nikons, Olympus & CO.
In an interesting and humorous kind, a contemporary witness described us the background for the building of the plant! Due to the political development in Europe, Switzerland started from the middle of the 30's to built military buildings in the interior of mountains.The fortress “Heldsberg” was supposed to help to repel a possible attack from the north-east.

On the two-hour tour to the accommodations over ladders to the gun positions and by close emergency exits there were cheerful moments despite the serious background again and again.
We will be dismissed four hours after immersing into the mountain with much impressions and full belly.

Winding roads lead us through Appenzellerland!
Due to the weather we could do only one photostop!

Then by cablecar we went up to the Ebenalp. It was very cloudy, so no weather for postcard pictures, despite fog makes the whole thing somehow more interesting. Anyone can take good shots with nice weather!

After a short descent through the "bear cave" and at the “Wildkirchli“ we needed a small break - so we decided to have a small break at the restaurant "Äscher".
after getting some energy we walked back to the mountain… where some of us decided to go to the summit - to the bring the Panoramiomeeting to the highest level!

Although the weather was not ideal: it was a great meeting with an interesting tour, good conversation and humor! We will meet again for sure ;)

P.S. Around midnight no more clouds were in the sky, but that is another history! Exactly the same as the culinary benefits, which unite Pasta within three times in 24 hours …

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Panoramio Team: Growing Internationally

It is with great pleasure I am introducing today some new acquisitions on the Panoramio Team. They are Nicolas Zherebtsov and Balázs Dezső from Russia and Hungary respectively.

Despite Balázs is with us for a while now, I did not make an introduction in the blog before and I just thought it was now a good moment. Balázs has proofed already to be a Panoramio in heart. You can check his excursions around Switzerland in his Panoramio Photo Page.

Nicolas is the latest acquisition of the team, and we are very excited about it. He was already working at Google before and he decided to move to Panoramio and bring all his experience with him. He is working right now in a very secret project together with Roger ;) that we hope we will be able to unveil soon.

Please join me in welcoming Balázs and Nicolas to the Panoramio family!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tahina Expedition

For the ultimate Google Earth experience, we fly a kite with a special remote-controlled camera rig which dangles from the string. With this setup we take very high-resolution aerial photos and send them to Google who replaces the default imagery with our kite photos. You can see examples of the kite photos - see BBQ Island or Petite Tabac.

Who wouldn't like to explore the Earth in a sailing catamaran? This is what Frank and Karen Taylor are doing and I asked them to share the story with you (thanks Frank):



What happens when the worlds biggest fan of Google Earth goes traveling around the world by sailboat? Lots and lots of photos in Panoramio! In 2005, I began writing the (unofficial) Google Earth Blog. I didn't just write about what people and companies were doing with Google Earth, but used it nearly every day to virtually explore the Earth. In late-2009, my wife Karen and I embarked on a five year journey to circumnavigate the Earth for real in our sailing catamaran called Tahina. You can follow the journey with our blog called Tahina Expedition. We, of course, use Google Earth and Google Maps to help you follow our journey. One of my primary goals was to document our trip using photography and blogging to share the experience. All our travels are documented with GPS so you can see the places we visit.

What kind of photography are we doing, and how do we share our photos? During our trip we have taken a variety of forms of photography. We take the usual candid photos during our travels, from our boat and on shore while we do our sight seeing. And we also take underwater photos during snorkeling and diving. Many of our photos appear in Panoramio (which also has a layer in Google Earth). We try to take photos which will represent the beauty of the countries we are visiting, or unique sights worth visiting.

Link to upload to Panoramio in Picasa Web Albums

How do we get our photos in Panoramio? First, we have to make sure the photos are geotagged. We use Picasa to organize our many photos on our computer. Sometimes we use the built-in "Places" interface to map each photo. We also use a GPS to track our position while shooting photos and use software to automatically geotag our photos. We then upload a selection of our photos to photo albums using Picasa Web Albums (see Tahina's Picasa photo albums here). If you use Picasa Web Albums, you can easily select photos, that have been geotagged, to be transferred to Panoramio. When viewing a photo, just look for the link to "Upload to Panoramio" right under the map. The photo will be copied directly to your Panoramio account quickly and automatically.





We also take 360 degree spherical panoramas which you can view on our web site, through 360Cities.net, or through - you guessed it - Google Earth (see an example and read how we do this in this blog post). Not only that but we have an underwater ROV by VideoRay which lets us explore up to 300 feet underwater with remote control from our boat with two video cameras, lights, and a small grappling hand.





We are having a great time exploring the Earth by sailboat. Hopefully you will join us by following our photos on Panoramio and reading our blog!

Captain Frank Taylor
VideoRay - http://videoray.com/
Google Earth Blog - http://gearthblog.com
Tahina Expedition - http://TahinaExpedition.com

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Making Panoramio more Universal. Thank you!

On behalf of the Panoramio team, myself and every Panoramio user who uses Panoramio in a language different than English, I wanted to thank everyone who helps and has helped with the translation of Panoramio, even if it has been with just one script. Thanks to all of you, more and more people can understand how Panoramio works and be part of it.

Right now we have Panoramio in 38 languages and this is growing everyday! Up to date status of translation files can be seen in this forum topic.

Those people who helped translating Panoramio are listed in the Panoramio Team Page as a recognition for their help. Please join me in thanking them by visiting their photo pages and leaving them a note. I am sure they will appreciate that.

If you want to help like them with the translation of Panoramio, feel free to join our Translators Community.
If you helped in the past and I forgot to add you in the team page (I hope not :P). Please send me an email at translation@panoramio.com and I will fix that immediately.

I wanted to take the advantage to apologize about not supporting right-to-left languages at the moment.

Thank you again for your help building Panoramio!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Photo Size and Storage quota improvements

We have increased the limit of the photo size to 25Mbytes / 50Mpixels.

You may think: Why do I need this if my camera is not able to shoot such images?

We wanted to be ahead of the game and build a storage system that would allow us to be ready for the future, as cameras improve and Internet speed gets faster.

Creation of Panoramas is also getting trendy, so we are happy to provide photo size limits that allow to store and process them. The next 2 photos are 2 examples of photos that can be uploaded now in Panoramio thanks to these changes:


This Panorama of 24.9MB was created by Balázs using Hugin and it is a panorama of his last Via Ferrata in Furenwald, Switzerland.


This Panorama of 18.9 MB was created by my friend Julian using Autopano and it is a panorama of photos he took in Zurich, Switzerland last time he visited me.

I also wanted to make official what we have already discussed in the forum sometime ago: Google Earth accepted photos will not count towards your storage quota. This makes the storage of your gallery practically unlimited.

I hope you like these changes. We cannot wait to see your fully detailed photos in Panoramio very soon.