Home Panoramio Groups: Google’s Location-Powered Photo Network

Panoramio Groups: Google’s Location-Powered Photo Network

Google’s photo services regained prominence this year when Google Plus rolled in Picasa as the natural choice for hosting photos shared on the social network. But Panoramio, Google’s less well-known photo service based on location data, is making moves as well.

Google has just announced Panoramio Groups for sharing photos with likeminded people. There’s a directory for existing groups, and anybody can create a new one. Groups are a fundamental building block of a social network, and Panoramio has joined that club.

Panoramio is a photo-sharing network built around a different purpose than the rest. It’s held together by meticulous tagging and location data, making it thoroughly searchable, and it revolves around the notions of places and exploration, rather than just the capturing of moments. It has the kinds of data that let Google implement it in Google Maps and Google Earth as a layer, and its users contribute to the photo mosaics in Street View.

We’ve covered Panoramio as competition for Photosynth, Microsoft’s effort to stitch together photos into 3D places and build them into Bing Maps. Panoramio’s role in Google Maps and Google Earth is one of providing personal color and context to a place. This is a rather different kind of photo sharing than the kind that organizes snapshots into galleries. Some new apps, such as Trover, take this same approach to photos as ways of exploring places. Panoramio’s groups will bring an element of collaboration to the adventure.

A storm is brewing in the photo-sharing space. The flurry of mobile photo-sharing apps is one thing, but the very social networks where we host and display our images are in flux. Photographers are pronouncing the death of Flickr, Facebook is changing its long-held policy of opt-out photo tagging, and Google Plus has saved Picasa with its instant uploading and unlimited storage. Even Twitter is adding photo galleries, and while they’re not Flickr-style, full-featured works of art, they’re great for the kinds of informal moments that get tweeted.

These services are beginning to distinguish themselves from one another. A photo gallery with comments is a kind of Web experience we’re all used to by now. In response, the major photo services are either adding distinguishing features or they’re stagnating. Panoramio had its distinguishing feature first, though, and it’s only now beginning to build a social layer on top of it.

Where do you host and share your photos? Let us know in the comments

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.