Mathew Ingram reports that Google Maps has added photos and popular searches, a flickrish like feature from Picasa & Panoramio into the bar besides Google Maps local search results.
Panoramio, which was acquired by Google in May 2007, is a community photos website that enables digital photographers to geo-locate, store and organize their photographs — and to view those photographs in Google Earth. Other users can search and browse Panoramio photos and suggest edits to the metadata associated with the photos. Panoramio also offers an API that enables web developers to embed Panoramio functionality into their websites.
The photos are geo targeted in order to be associated with the mapped area, and once they're clicked upon they then expand to provide more local pix as well as videos for the area, and it also displays a larger version of the image clicked upon at its geocoordinates overlaying the map along with icons of the pix peppered over the map.
Also, the popular searches function is quite impressive and very geo-targeted. A search for Tampa, FL results in suggestions for Busch Gardens, International Mall and the Ford Amphitheatre, all popular Tampa destinations that tourists and locals are always looking to find.
Yahoo! had also deployed similiar feature "TagMaps" in January 2007, which later on merged with Flickr images and map locations, and since then, many millions of photos have been geotagged or placed on maps by their users.
Google, Google Maps, Picasa, Yahoo!, Flickr, Panoramio, Search, Search Results, Photo