Google crowdsources Street View imagery
The company's driver's-eye view of the world is now augmented by geotagged photos stored on Google's Panoramio service.
Google Maps' Street View feature uses imagery collected by cameras mounted to Google cars, but now the company is blending in photos taken by the public as well.
blog post Wednesday., lets people share so they can be shown on a map. Those Panoramio photos already were available in Google Earth and Google Maps, but now they can show on the more personal Street View as well, Google programmer Frederik Schaffalitzky said in a
Potential advantages of checking the photos on Street View include views at a higher resolution view or during a different time of day, which could be handy for the occasions when Google's Street View camera was shooting into the sun and didn't produce much of an image.
And of course a disadvantage is that the Street View intrusiveness to which some people object is amplified.
When a view can be shown with Panoramio images, a "user photos" icon shows in the upper-right corner of Street View. Clicking it shows an array of local photo thumbnails, and clicking one of those thumbnails loads that image. Above it is a link to the Panoramio page of the person who added the photo.
Not every Panoramio image is included. Once you've contributed geotagged photos to Panoramio, "Google's image-matching algorithms will analyze them at some point to see if they are also a good match for a Street View location," Schaffalitzky said.