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Google Maps Adds Pictures & Explore Feature
Some users like Mathew Ingram noticed that Google has now added images from Picasa and Panoramio into the bar beside their maps.
The new feature now displays the images by default — apparently somewhat randomly selected — along with links to some popular searches and user-created maps for the area. The photos apparently must be geocoded in order to be associated with the mapped area, and once they’re clicked upon they then expand to provide more local pix as well as videos for the area, and it also displays a larger version of the image clicked upon at its geocoordinates overlaying the map, along with icons of the pix peppered over the map.
Does this all seem familiar? It should. Yahoo!’s Flickr picture sharing service deployed their map-picture-browsing interfaces quite some time ago, and many millions of photos have been geotagged or placed on maps by their users since.
In fact, Flickr is far more popular than Picasa and Panoramio, making it feel as though a huge chunk of the world of images is missing from the new Google Maps feature. Hopefully the two companies might overcome a bit of the competitive siloing and allow the most popular photo sharing service to mashup with the most popular mapping service.
Chris “Silver” Smith is Lead Strategist at Netconcepts.
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