Google likes to get information from people any way they can. One thing they are good at, especially in their quest to make maps and places data richer, is getting users to do it for them, for free. It’s brilliant since people like to be associated with a winner so if they can contribute to Google’s greater good they can feel like they have accomplished something.
There’s nothing evil about this at all. It’s just interesting what people will do and how far companies will let them go. They both get what they want but only Google profits from it.
Now Google has updated its Panoramio photo sharing service to make it easier for people to populate Google Earth and Google Maps with photos. Here is a video from the Lat Long blog
It’s a neat service and Google really wants people to get the idea that they should contribute to the growing library of images of places around the world.
Today, we’re announcing some improvements to help you even more easily geo-tag your photos in Panoramio. You can now snap your photos to a place on the map. When searching for your photo location, you’ll see a list of suggested places where your photo may have been taken, and you can click “Snap to this place” to select the right location. We’ve also added the ability for users to indicate that a photo was taken indoors. These additional details about where a photo was taken provide all users with more useful information and context.
Panoramio is a community site for photos of various places, with the option to share and explore the photos in Google Maps and Google Earth.
Is there anything wrong with Google getting their research and content for free? Have you used this service before? What is the benefit to the end user?