Google is shutting the doors to a once popular source of Google Maps images — Panoramio will be shut down on November 4. The location-based photo-sharing platform that allows visitors to explore the world in photographs will be shuttered in favor of the photo upload tool inside Google Maps, leaving nearly 100 million users behind.
While the announcement frustrated many of Panoramio’s users, Google announced back in 2014 that it would be retiring the program. According to the official announcement, Google postponed the shutdown until it could add more features to Google Maps, after an outcry from users. With the ability to upload photos directly to Google Maps and a Local Guide program that allows users to share photos, the geo-tagged photo-sharing site will be officially discontinued next month.
Panoramio will enter a “read-only” mode for one year, where the upload tool will be disabled but users will have access to their earlier images. Google is also encouraging users to link their Panoramio account to their Google+ profile, which will automatically save photos from the defunct platform to the Google Album Archive, without using up the storage quota.
Users can also export their images. Both the export option and syncing with Google Album Archives will be available for one year. After November 4, 2017, all accounts will be deleted.
Panoramio launched in 2005, and was created by Joaquín Cuenca Abela and Eduardo Manchón Aguilar. Google purchased the platform in 2007, when the user-base was about two million.
Google says that the Local Guide program allows Panoramio users to continue to share location-based images, just on Google Maps. Photos linked to a business or point of interest will earn users points that can be used to secure anything from early access to Google products to free Google Drive storage.
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