You would be mistaken if you thought that Google Panoramio is a travel site. It is actually a community powered photography site which almost doubles up as a virtual worldwide tour guide for the armchair traveler (or a real traveler). Panoramio explores our world through photography and photo sharing. As the site itself says – Panoramio’s all about seeing the world.
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Panoramio also exists as a layer on Google Earth and Google Maps. You can switch it on to see the geo-tagged photos that are contributed by globetrotters around the world. As Panoramio is all about photos of destinations and places, you won’t find personal photos here. In fact, these types of photos are excluded from Panoramio as it focuses solely on places. The other key point is that all photos are geo-located on a Google Map, so you can explore a place by its photos alone.
Exploring the World with Panoramio
Using Panoramio is as simple as signing in with your Google ID. If you are signing in for the first time, you will have to choose a Panoramio user name.
If you are looking to explore a particular place with the help of photos, you just need to enter the location in the search box. Panoramio does its best to help you out with suggestions. The view is something like this:
Work with the zoom slider to adjust the map until you see thumbnail photos superimposed on the Google Map. The thumbnails that appear at the highest zoom levels are the most popular photos. You can also see the most popular photos on the left frame under the Popular tab. You can keep zooming in to see more photos and nearly go down to the street level. Clicking on the photos opens up a pop-up which gives you the name of the location or building.
You can view recent photos that were taken around a particular location from the tab on the left as well as any photos you might have uploaded.
Panoramio also has a tab marked as Cool Places that showcases some of the most wondrous sights around the world.
Panoramio is a Photographer’s Delight
Here you can not only check out aesthetically shot photos of buildings and destinations, but also upload your own to share it with others. Photos in Panoramio can be uploaded from your computer or transferred from your Picasa Web Albums or Google+ accounts. You just have to tag the photos with the right tags and map them to the location of the shot.
It pays to be accurate as possible because the wider community will look at your photo and see it as you saw it while clicking the snap. You can share your photo URLs with friends.
And if you are really good behind the lens, the Panoramio community holds monthly contests where you can show off your skills.
Panoramio is one of the must visit sites for enjoying virtual sights around the world. Do you agree?