The first message is a big THANKS to everyone for being with us once more, and the second a sorry for the long message ;)
This year has been a difficult one as we invested lots of effort in improving our infrastructure. This brings some benefits, but also some difficulties. The difficulties come when your users think you are not investing in the product or working at all, while in reality you're so busy you hardly get any sleep. The benefits come in the longer term, and I am extremely excited to announce that we are now technically in a very comfortable position that will allow us to deliver many great things in 2012. We have some key features ready to ship in the first quarter of the year, and we have a pipeline of improvements ready for the following months that we hope will excite the whole community so stay tuned for that.
- While we worked on our infrastructure improvements we have also launched a bunch of features that we hope you all enjoyed:
- We made easier Geotagging photos with Google Latitude
- We powered our comments system with Google Translate, breaking language borders for the Panoramio Community
- We made available the Photos layer from Google Maps to MapsAPI developers
- A new version of the Panoramio contest was launched too. This made half of the community very happy and the other half not that much. We have listened to the feedback and we will iterate on it next year with monthly category changes and other enhancements
- With the growing number of Panoramio photos we developed a new photo browsing experience in Google Earth
- To allow users to join communities based on their interests, we launched Panoramio Groups
On the community side I am extremely excited about the amount of photographers and community events we could meet and join around the world:
- One year more we joined our Spanish Community, this time in Asturias, in their yearly Kedada de Panoamigos. I want to send my warmest wishes to Mirta, Ángel, Faustino and Paco. I hope they will invite me again next year!
- Buelipixx organized an amazing weekend in Zurich where more than 30 photographers visited the Üetliberg and the offices of Google in the CH-PA treffen 2011
- We celebrated 3 regional User Geo Summits in Singapore, Barcelona and Mountain View where we invited our Panoramio Moderators and some local users to discuss their ideas on Panoramio, and spent some quality time together
- YouTube and Panoramio teamed together in Tokyo to celebrate the YouTube x GEO Creator Day
- The Death Valley Photowalk was organized by Thomas Hawk where I got to know a lot of very cool photographers. Within the gang I was especially excited to meet Jeff Sullivan. I have always been extremely impressed by his photos in Panoramio and meeting him in person was an amazing experience. He took me and Google+ Photos Community Manager Brian Rose in a day trip through the desert that I will never forget
I am sure I am missing so many moments and experiences, but I am not worried about that as a lot more experiences are to come in 2012.
I want to really thank you all for being with us, I want to thank all the people I managed to meet this year both online and offline. A big hug to the entire Panoramio community, the Panoramio team, my friends and my family for supporting me, the project and our community.
And despite I know this is not Panoramio related, I still want to share with you the Zeitgeist 2011: Year In Review video. It is one of my favorite summaries of the year:
Posted by Gerard Sanz, Panoramio Community Manager