[UPDATE 7-December-2016: The Panoramio Photos Layer is working again. A temporary one day issue.]
Thank you to GEB readers Frank, Manuel, Jim and Gabriel for letting us know that the Panoramio photos are not displaying in Google Earth. The layer and placeholder icons are there but when you click on them the images do not display.
In October Google did announce that it was shutting down Panoramio in favour of Google Street View. The announcement said that as of November 4th, 2016, new signups and uploads would be stopped. However, they indicated that users had until November, 2017 to download their photos and optionally transfer them to Street View. We assumed that this meant that they would keep the API that Google Earth uses running until November 2017. It would seem that that may not be the case.
If Google has shut down the Panoramio API it would be a great pity, as many parts of the world have almost no Street View photos whereas, Panoramio has near global coverage. We have recently been experimenting with capturing photos for Street View and the process is not well thought out and it seems to be impossible to put the captured photos in the correct place when Street View misplaces them. It makes logical sense for Google to only have one 360 degree photo service but they really need to improve the Street View offering as far as user contributions are concerned before completely shutting down Panoramio.
The loss of Panoramio photos in Google Earth is only one of several similar changes. In October two of the Google Earth weather layers were dropped. Recently we also noticed that the Earthquake layer is not updating correctly.