Friday, August 14, 2009
Earlier this year, we launched a new Google Maps feature embedding user-contributed photos into Street View. The new way of browsing photos has recently been enhanced with photo-to-photo zooming, which lets you explore some of the world's most interesting landmarks and landscapes in an intuitive and entertaining way.
Our first release of user photos in Street View only included photos from Panoramio. Today, we are adding Picasa Web Albums as another source of user-uploaded, geo-tagged images.
Millions of people already rely on Picasa Web Albums to share their photographs with friends and the internet community. Now, their public geo-tagged photos will help Google Maps users to get a better impression of a geographic place, especially for areas where we may not have any Panoramio photos.
We've selected these photos by looking for geo-tagged public images in Picasa Web Albums. We apply face detection to screen out images with identifiable individuals and image matching so that we're including the most relevant photographs.
The feature is available at major landmarks around the world, in places as different as Paris, Tokyo, and New Zealand. When you try it out, you'll discover how easy it is to seamlessly navigate between images from Street View, Panoramio, and now Picasa -- particularly with our new photo-zoom feature. Have fun exploring the world!