Every now and again, a technology or website comes along that is so enthralling that I will spend hours using it - usually at the expense of other things I should be doing. The latest of said time drains is the integration between Panoramio and Google Maps. Panoramio allows you upload pictures you have taken and tag them with the location where they were taken. Those images then appear in Google Maps searches.
I discovered this when I used Google Maps to see if they had done a "street view" of my old neighborhood in Philadelphia yet (they haven't) and I saw thumbnail images embedded on the map, showing familiar landscapes. I instinctively started dragging the map around to show other neighborhoods and was astounded to see images from those places embedded in the map.
*commence time drain*
- I looked up my favorite weekend getaway spots - images!
- I looked up the neighborhood where I work - images!
- I looked up the place where I grew up and my grandparents' block in the Bronx - images!
* back to reality *
I think this is a fantastic technology. It's user-driven (viral, if you will) so it doesn't rely on any one group to try to add images of everyplace. It's a true paragon of Web 2.0.
I only hope that more images are added so that I can spend more time on the site!