Look Around with Google Panoramio

In a move sure to draw comparisons with Microsoft’s Photosynth, Google has released a new feature to Panoramio letting you “Look Around” at popular locations around the world. Panoramio is a photo uploading site which uniquely requires all photos to be geotagged when they are uploaded. There are over 5 million photos from Panoramio accessible through both Google Earth and now also available through Google Maps.
To create the new “Look Around” feature, Google is taking locations with a high density of photos (like the Sydney Opera House for example) and, using photogrammetry techniques, they are indexing photos that are close approximations of the same location except maybe from a slightly different perspective. Check out this YouTube video to see it in action:

This gives you a way of sensing the 3D relationship of the location of photos – and, in fact, Microsoft’s Photosynth can generate 3D points from the photos. Google’s “Look Around” is a Flash application, and is easy and fun to use. And, they’ve already made available a lot of locations (they are leveraging their large database of geotagged photos to help with the process). Just check out some of these cool examples of popular destinations:

There are even more locations than those represented here. Just explore Panoramio photos for popular destinations and look for the “Look Around” link underneath the photos. This has nothing to do with Google Earth at this point – but, maybe Google will write an algorithm to automatically generate Google Earth PhotoOverlays of these photos?

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Brick Marketing Local says:

    Great photos! Love the panoramic views!

  2. Photosynth is actually a great software that will speed up the coming of the 3D Internet.

  3. Paolo de Magistris says:

    I have seen that the Nuclear Power Plant of Garigliano in Italy, where I worked for several years, appears in a very good detail on Google Hearth.
    There is no indication of this location, which is
    important as the first Nuclear Plant built by an
    American Company (General Electric)abroad.
    I had the unusual opportunity of taking some
    beautiful pictures of it.
    How can I create a Panoramio sign there with my
    pictures made available to the users?

  4. @Paolo: Simply go to the Panoramio web site, sign in, and upload your photos to the proper location. It may take a few weeks before it appears in the Google Earth layer. But, you will get a Google Earth link enabling you to share the photo/location right away.

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