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The Panoramio founders Joaquín Cuenca and Eduardo Manchón (2006)

Panoramio was a photo-sharing - service to publish geo-referenced photographs ( Geo-Imaging ) owned by the US company Google Inc. In addition to publishing on the actual site were photos that a geo-tag feature, from time to time in the Google Earth program and other online services such as 4UMaps integrated. The service was discontinued on November 4, 2016, but the Panoramio layer in Google Earth was still available until January 2018.


Panoramio was founded in summer 2005 by Spanish entrepreneurs Joaquín Cuenca Abela and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar . The oldest available image was published on July 29, 2005. The official market launch took place on October 3, 2005.

A few weeks later, Panoramio made the first KML files available, which made it possible to display Panoramio images with Google Earth . In December 2006 Panoramio - together with Wikipedia - was the first external provider to be included in the so-called geographic web layer of Google Earth . From 2006 a German user interface was also available.

Panoramio announced on March 19, 2007 that one million photos had already been uploaded to Panoramio. Three months later, on June 27, 2007, one of the more than 600,000 registered users uploaded the two millionth photo.

In May 2007, Google announced the acquisition of Panoramio.

In October 2007, one million users had uploaded five million images. At the end of October 2016, the number of uploaded image files exceeded 134 million. However, it is not known how many geo-referenced images were actually available on Panoramio, as numerous images have been deleted by the users themselves or by Panoramio in the meantime. The number of Panoramio photos that could be queried by the API was around 72.5 million at the same time.

In September 2014 Panoramio worked in 47 language versions.

Since the takeover by Google, georeferenced images have been used to illustrate Google Maps , Google Search and Google Street View in addition to Google Earth .


In the run-up to Photokina 2014, Google announced on September 16, 2014 that it would discontinue Panoramio in the "foreseeable future" and migrate it to the Views service launched in July 2013 as part of Google Maps . Popular Panoramio functions like comments, favorite photographers and groups should be lost. On September 23, 2014, the founders Joaquín Cuenca Abela, Jose Florido Conde and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar published the Google petition : Keep The Panoramio Community Alive against the closure plans, which received over 10,000 signatures from Panorama users and other interested parties. The protests and the petition made headlines in various Internet media.

On June 2, 2015, it was announced that Google would revise its planning for Panoramio and continue to operate the service unchanged until a better solution was developed.

Views was discontinued in August 2015, before Panoramio.

On October 5, 2016, Google informed Panoramio users that the service would be discontinued as of November 4, 2016. Users could still access their image files for one year, but they could not upload any new images or publish any comments or likes.


Accepted media

Panoramio only accepted photos from the respective user. These had to be "real photos". Furthermore, photos should not be accepted that

  • recorded by persons other than the user
  • Advertising included in the picture or in the title
  • Are sexually explicit, discriminatory, xenophobic or racist

Each photo could not be larger than 25 megabytes. An acceptance for Panoramio did not automatically lead to its adoption in the geographic information systems . Until August 2013, the operator rewarded uploading high-quality photographs with a monthly competition and prizes.


Since the end of 2011 it has been possible to assign individual photos to one or more groups. These were associations of different interests, photo techniques or even regions or countries. Photographers liked to use the function to quickly get many clicks on new photos.

Georeferencing and geographic information systems

Example of a Panoramio page (user 656563) showing geotagging information and other options.

The georeferencing could be done manually by the user or by uploading geocoded images in advance . Maps from the parent company were available for manual georeferencing; alternatively, known coordinates could be entered. Panoramio advised encoding the location of the photographer and not the location of the photo subject. The provider gave other users the opportunity to suggest position changes for misplaced images. This could e.g. Currently only done once within the life cycle of an image. Later, the system sometimes recognized incorrect placements itself and suggested a suitable position, which had to be confirmed by the user.

Panoramio stated that it would check the uploaded images and only forward images that show locations, landscapes, etc. to Google's geographic information system. Images that primarily depict people, cars, indoor or macro shots should not be included in the geographic information systems; however, they could remain on the user's personal page. After checking, the images were marked accordingly (e.g. this photo was selected for Google Earth ).

Only photos with geospatial data could be selected for Google Maps, Google Earth or Look Around.

More functions

In addition to the geographic information, other metadata of the images could also be viewed (e.g. Exif data). Uploaded images could be sorted with the help of keywords .

Map sections next to the individual images made it possible to find images close to the original image. A function was available for frequently photographed locations with which one could look at images from different perspectives or locations ( look around ).

From 2009 to 2012. Panoramio asked a iPhone - app ready by uploading images from the smartphone was possible.

Licenses and access control

Panoramio stated that the images remained the property of the photographer and offered users various licenses to choose from (all rights reserved or staggered releases for non-commercial and commercial use).

In the terms of use applicable for Germany, Google only granted itself "the necessary, non-exclusive and worldwide, unlimited rights to use this content exclusively for the purpose of providing the respective service and only to the extent necessary for this." These rights expire the time at which the user removed an image from Panoramio. Other German-language terms of use, on the other hand, grant Google far more extensive and irrevocable rights to the images.


Panoramio made a forum available to users in various national languages. There users could exchange ideas; New users in particular found a contact point there for questions that might arise. In the English-language forum area, users were able to present their pictures to other forum members, divided according to topic. Read access to the forum was free for everyone; A registration was required to obtain write authorization. Numerous moderators paid attention to compliance with the forum rules.

Individual evidence

  1. Panoramio images in the free world map OpenStreetMap : 4UMaps ( memento of the original from October 7, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. ^ Eduardo Manchón: Alcazar de Segovia. In: Panoramio, July 29, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  3. Joaquín Cuenca Abela: Panoramio + Google Earth. In: Panoramio blog, October 23, 2005. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  4. Chikai Ohazama: Opening my eyes to a whole new world. In: The Official Google Blog, December 9, 2006. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  5. Eduardo Manchón: Wikipedia and Panoramio in Google Earth. In: Panoramio blog, December 11, 2006. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  6. Eduardo Manchón: Welcome to Panoramio! Benvinguts a Panoramio! In: Panoramio blog, September 16, 2006. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  7. Eduardo Manchón: One million geolocated photos at Panoramio. In: Panoramio blog, March 19, 2007. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  8. Eduardo Manchón: 2 million photos in Panoramio. In: Panoramio blog, July 27, 2007. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  9. John Hanke: A picture's worth a thousand clicks. In: The Official Google Blog, May 30, 2007. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  10. Eduardo Manchón: 1 million registered users and 5 million photos uploaded. In: Panoramio blog, October 25, 2007. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  11. User Erhan Can: over 134 millions photos in Panoramio In: Panoramio, November 4, 2016. Accessed March 30, 2017.
  12. How to obtain the total number of photos in one area using the panoramio data API? Stack Overflow, November 29, 2013
  13. ^ Eduardo Manchón: Panoramio in Google Maps. In: Panoramio blog, May 14, 2008. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  14. Eduardo Manchón: Explore more with User Photos in Street View. In: Panoramio blog, February 26, 2009. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  15. ^ Eduardo Manchón: Panoramio photos in Google Search. In: Panoramio blog, July 23, 2009. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  16. Björn Greif: Google discontinues the Panoramio photo sharing service In: ZDnet / News, September 17, 2014
  22. James Therrien: - Panoramio, Views and Google Maps In: Panoramio-Blog, June 2, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  24. Panoramio photo guidelines. Retrieved April 15, 2014 .
  25. Panoramio: Geotagged Photo Contest. Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  27. Fernando Delgado: Upload photos to Panoramio straight from your iPhone! In: Panoramio blog, October 20, 2009. Accessed February 21, 2010.
  28. Chris Crum: "Google Shuts Down Panoramio iPhone App"
  29. ^ Google Inc .: Google Terms of Use Germany (November 21, 2008). Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  30. ^ Google Inc .: Google Terms of Use Austria (April 16, 2007). Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  31. ^ Google Inc .: Google Terms of Use Switzerland (April 16, 2007). Retrieved February 21, 2010.
  32. ^ Google Inc .: Google Terms of Use Belgium (April 16, 2007). Retrieved February 21, 2010.

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