While swapping google map locations with my new buddy Rowan, I notice a few new buttons on Google Maps- you can now see embedded links to WikiPedia articles about places and links to photos (enable under the More button), plus there is a direct link to view a map location in Google Earth.

So being the curious type, I zoomed in on my location near Strawberry, and explored…

Sweet geolocation stuff! The Wikipedia links are apparently pulled from coordinate data stored in articles

The photos interestingly enough don’t come from my favorite photo site, although it does geolocate images (can you imagine a reason why a Google Map would not use flickr? The mapped images come from Panoramio, a photo sharing site designed around location images on maps:

which I think I may have tagged some time ago, but am taking a closer look at given this connection. Curiously enough, there is no place on the Panoramio site that says exactly what it is (the elusive “about” page) as I was curious if it was meant for panoramic images (which it is not), but I created an account and uploaded a few photos. The upload tools work nicely, can do them in batch, and you can set a location and upload a series of images mapped to the same spot.

In poking around the Panoramia blog, I found this fascinating Look Around feature:

We just released a new feature in Panoramio that allows you to browse photos simulating a 3D environment. You can jump from one photo to the closest one, walking virtually around the place or watching the place from many different perspectives. Enjoy the views from the top of Empire State in New York, the last floor of Eiffel Tower or the sights from the Pyramids of Teotihuacan, just by opening the “look around” link under those photos.

So apparently if you go to a location where there are many photos from other people it is able to create overlaps of the scene- like linked from the panorama from the top of the Eiffel Tower — this is very cool.

More web stumbling and curious clicking leads to more interesting things to click and explore…. and three days later I look up from the laptop wondering what day it is…

The post "Who Put Wikipedia and Photos on my Google Maps?" was originally yanked out of the teeth of a rabid chicken at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2008/06/wikipedia-photos-gmaps/) on June 21, 2008.

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