Google will delete Panoramio On the same day that Google announced Google My Maps was also announced the end of Panoramio.

Google will delete Panoramio

by September 25, 2014
Panoramio

On the same day that Google announced Google My Maps it was also announced the end of Panoramio. After 9 years feeding the Google Maps with georeferenced images from around the world, Panoramio will be replaced by Google Maps Views.
Since the launch of Google+ that Google wants all its products orbit around its social network. Views will be the new home of all the images on Panoramio.

Panoramio

An unexpected announcement

This announcement was issued by googler Evan Rapoport in the help forum of Panoramio and enhanced by Google Maps vice president, immediately generating a great controversy around the decision.

One of the Panoramio users comments as follows: “... Panoramio is a site where people from all countries of the world come together and make friends through the photos and comments… Panoramio promotes International Friendship and so is very important that the service will continue at any cost…”
In general this is the feeling of users who deeply feel disappointed with this decision of Google.

Disappointment

The problem is not so much in changing to another platform but in the separation of the community. Google wants its users to transfer their images to Views, promising to transfer the view count for each image but what is left behind is the most important. Google will not transfer the user comments and the Panoramio community was built thanks to those comments. Many users have created bonds of friendship, developed their photo-shooting skills and some married thanks to Panoramio!

Feeling of indignation

The feeling is anger and the voices were heard from the three Spanish, Joaquin Cuenca Abela, Jose Conde Florido and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar, who in October 2005 founded the Panoramio.com. The three founders created a petition asking the Google not to end up with the community. “Since Google announced the end of Panoramio us, the founders of Panoramio, received hundreds of messages from users around the world who want to keep alive the Panoramio Community”. Thus begins the text of the petition that after 48 hours already has about 3,000 signatures.

False hope?

I already signed that petition, because it is very important for those who belong to this community but this may be a false hope. The Googlers have demonstrated several times that they do not listen to the demands of its users. They also have shown that they have no sensitivity to social issues, community and privacy, as example the Buzz disaster. Even more, the list of products closed by Google goes already long and the Panoramio.com is already part of it.

Until June 2015

Although Google has not determined the date for the “blackout” we can foresee that it’ll be close to June 2015. On June 4, 2014 an article was published in Geo Developers Blog to announce the end of the Weather JavaScript API and Panoramio for the next June 4, 2015.

The advantages and disadvantages

Google Maps Views is prepared for today's mobility needs, unlike the outdated structure of Panoramio, and promises to follow the same principles as its predecessor. However, the source of images that "feeds" Views and the new Google Maps is somehow dispersed. That is, all existing georeferenced photos on Google+ or Picasa in publicly shared albums that respect Google's selection criteria and whose location is marked as shared, are potential candidates to appear on Views. This means that the Panoramio user community will be dispersed in the Google social network. There will be no more a proper space for the community. There will be people scattered through various existing communities on Google+. This will end the Panoramio community identity.

Who does not want their pictures to be published on Google Maps or on Views must choose not to share the location of your photos.

It is true that everything must have an evolution. It is also true that Panoramio.com is not prepared to the trends of mobility. But it is also true that the 9 years long Panoramio community built something important to millions of people worldwide. For over seven years Google gained much popularity for Maps thanks to this community. The least that can be done now is to fight so that the stories and memories present in Panoramio will not disappear forever.


Miguel Marnoto

My expertise in the Google Maps JavaScript API v3 is a consequence of my enthusiasm about maps and recognition of the importance that Google Maps service has on people lives.

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