Google has bought Panoramio. I have to admit that this doesn’t come as a huge surprise — this is something that Google really needed in their world.
For those of you unfamiliar with Panoramio, I strongly recommend you check them out. It’s a neat service, providing the ability for people to geo-locate photographs based on Google Maps’ API. And the stuff comes out in Google Earth, too!
I’ve been on Panoramio for quite some time (check out my pictures in Panoramio, if you’re interested), and some of them get a lot of views. Others, not so much. In fact, two that I thought would do particularly well (a bridge at Bow Lake and the Eiffel Tower) are rarely looked at. I have no idea why.
One of my complaints about Panoramio has always been speed — it chugs quite badly from time to time. Could be because Panoramio is Spanish, a rarity that a non-American website has attracted so much attention. And now, the purchase from Google. I think the Google purchase will be a good thing, though — it brings the application under Google’s wing, and hopefully onto their much more powerful server environment.
The question, of course, is how Panoramio gets rolled into the world of Google. Will it be repurposed for other abilities? Will it feed into Gmail or Google Chat? Only Google can say, but I’m curious to see what they do next.