Panoramio Help

Uploading and mapping photos

Uploading photos to Panoramio

Photos in Panoramio can be uploaded from your computer or transferred from your Picasa Web Albums or Google+ accounts.

There are no storage limitations in Panoramio for geoposiotioned photos. For other kinds of photos, we may enforce a 2 Gbyte limit in the total storage size. There is a current limit of 25 MBytes or 50 Mpixels per photo. Please resize a photo if it's larger than 25 MBytes or 50 Mpixels. Make sure you follow the Panoramio Photo Policy when uploading photos in Panoramio.

Uploading photos from your computer

To upload a photo, you'll first need to be registered. If you haven't registered yet, now is the time to sign up for Panoramio. If you are already registered:

  1. Go to the Upload page
  2. Click on the "Upload photos" button
  3. Select one or multiple photos from your computer

After selecting the photos you want to Upload to Panoramio you will be able to add titles, comments, tags and map them while the uploading process is completing. You will also be able to see the progress of the upload of each photo in the progress bar.

Importing photos from Picasa Web Albums or Google+

You may have already uploaded your photos into your Picasa Web Albums or Google+ accounts. If your Picasa Web Albums or Google+ accounts are associated to the same Google Account as your Panoramio account, you can import those photos to Panoramio as follows:

  1. Go to the Upload page
  2. Click on the "import from Picasa Web Albums or Google+" link
  3. Select an album
  4. Select one or multiple photos from the album you previously selected

After selecting the photos you want to upload to Panoramio you will be able to add titles, comments tags and map them while the uploading process is completed. If the photos had titles or were already mapped, this will be imported to Panoramio as well.

To import photos from Picasa Web Albums or Google+, Show my photo locations to others needs to be enabled. Check the Map location visibility documentation to learn how to enable this feature.

Exporting photos to Picasa Web Albums or Google+

Similarly to the import feature you can also export your Panoramio photos to Picasa Web Albums and Google+.

To export your photos to Google+ go to Settings and under the section Google+ Settings click on the Export photos to my Google+ profile checkbox, and click on the button Save changes.

Here is what happens when you turn the export on:

  • All your existing photos, starting from the oldest one, are copied to a public album called "Panoramio photos".
  • This "Panoramio photos" album may only contain at most 750 photos, so if you have more than that we split them into multiple albums.
  • In Google+, your exported photos keep their title, geo position, place association and your tags (tags are only visible in Picasa Web Albums, not in Google+). A "best" tag is added to your photos thar are selected as "best" in Panoramio. Photos that are associated to a place have an auto-generated tag, "place name @ latitude/longitude".
  • If a photo is associated to a place, and that place has a corresponding Google+ Page, the photo will also be featured in the Google+ Page.
  • Each photo is exported only once, and the process cannot be restarted. If you want your photos to be mapped and/or associated to a place, please make sure you mapped or associated them before you enable the export from your settings.
  • If you leave the checkbox checked, every time you upload a new photo in Panoramio, a copy is automatically sent to your "Panoramio photos" album in Google+. However, you may expect a delay of about 10 minutes before your photo appears in your Google+ album and the Google+ page. If the photo is not mapped or not associated with a place, the transfer is delayed for 24 hours (from the upload time), to make sure that there is enough time for you to manually map, snap to place, and tag the new photo.

Some important points to remember:

  • All photos: by choosing this setting, all of your existing Panoramio photos —plus photos you upload to Panoramio in the future— will be copied to a public "Panoramio photos" album in your Google+ account
  • Images in Panoramio: this setting does not change or remove your photos from Panoramio. All of your Panoramio photos will continue to be also visible in Panoramio, Google Earth and/or Google Maps, as appropriate.
  • Privacy: your Panoramio photos will appear publicly under your Google+ profile name. Once your images are published on Google+ and by comparing those images with your images in Panoramio, it may be possible for other users to link your Google+ profile name with your Panoramio username.  Do not copy your Panoramio photos to Google+, if you do not want this to happen.
  • Location: Panoramio photos are already mapped to a location, so the copying of Panoramio images to Google+ will be independent of, and not affected by, your location preferences for photos in Google+.  This means that, for example, photos which you may have snapped to a place in Panoramio may also be displayed in Google+ Local (see here, for more info), even if you have not enabled the "Show geo location information” setting in Google+
  • Managing photos in Google+: if you turn this setting off in the future, or if you delete your photos in Panoramio, these photos won't automatically be removed from Google+.  You can remove these photos from Google+, or make the album private, at any time using the normal Google+ controls (see here, for more info).

Mapping photos

When mapping a photo, you can tell us where you were when you took the photo ("Photographer position"), what place the photo is about ("Place", only if the photo has a clear subject), and whether the photo was taken inside of a building or not ("Indoors").

The combination of the three mapping properties will provide the position values to your photo. By providing the three properties, you will have higher chances to have your photo selected for a Look Around, or shown in a Place Page in Google Maps, as well as the new map views in for Places and Indoor images.

You do not need to wait until the photos are completely uploaded in Panoramio to map them, as multiple photos can be mapped at the same time. To map a photo do one of the following:

  • If you are uploading a new photo, click on Map this photo. If you are using a fully supported browser the "Map this photo" link will be already available while the photo is being uploaded. If you are not using a fully supported browser the "Map this photo" link will only be active when the upload is completed, as Panoramio needs to determine whether the photo contains EXIF GPS data.
  • If you are mapping a photo that's already in Panoramio, go to your personal page (Your photos), and click on the photo you want to map and then click Map this photo.

Adding a Photographer position: In the mapping dialog you can perform three actions to add a photographer position to a photo:

  • Adding a photographer position using Drag and Drop

    On the left panel of the mapping dialog you will see miniatures of all the images that are available for you to map at this point in time. One of the images will always be highlighted which indicates which photo you are currently working on. If you click on the miniature image with the mouse, hold the left button of the mouse and drag the photo to the map to the place you would like it to be mapped to. When you are satisfied that the image is at the correct position you can simply release the image (by releasing the left mouse button).

    Before dragging and dropping the photo to the map, you may want to position the map to the place where the photo was taken. You can use the Search box on top of the map and the controls on the left of the map to do so.

  • Adding a photographer position with a Mouse Click

    If you click on the map with the left button of the mouse, the selected photo will be mapped to that position.

  • Adding a photographer position with an exact address or with exact coordinates

    If the address that you enter in the Search box (located on the top of the map for photos that have not yet been mapped) is specific enough, then the selected photo will be instantly mapped.

    You can also instantly map a photo by entering the exact coordinates where you took the photo. Here are two examples showing how you could enter the coordinates:

    • Decimal example: 40.56345, -3.45678
    • DMS example: 37° 4' 39.11", -110° 57' 53.09"

Associating a place to a photo: Photos that have a "Photographer position" associated will have the option to be snapped to a place. This means your photo will be associated to the place you captured in the exposure on top of being mapped to the place where you took it. By snapping a photo to a place you will make it more relevant and the photo will be shown in the Places map.

  • Associating a place to a photo using the Search box

    On the mapping dialog below the photographer's position there is a search box for the subject of the photo. If you want to snap a photo to a place (e.g. Empire State Building), type it in the search box and click enter.

    If you made a mistake or change your mind you can unsnap the photo from a place by clicking on the cross on the right hand side of the selection.

  • Associating a place to a photo using the map

    Another way to associate a photo to a place is using the little purple squares on the map. If you mouse over the squares a dialog will tell you the name of the place. Click on the squares to snap your photo to the place. Click on the cross on the right hand side of the place if you associated it to the wrong place. You will see that the small purple square changes to a bigger red square when you successfully associated your photo.

Indoor photos: Photos can be taken from outside a building or from inside a building. While the Google Earth acceptance policy only allows Indoor photos of public places with a wide perspective, we thought that there is many other details you may want to photograph. It is for this reason that we have created a new Indoor map, to sponsor all those beautiful images. Click in the Indoor check-box from the mapping dialog to define your photo as Indoor.

Uploading geocoded photos

When a digital camera saves a photo, it also saves some additional information, such as camera settings, date, shutter speed, or scene information. This data is saved in an exchangeable image file (EXIF) format. Some cameras have GPS receivers or can accept external GPS connectors, so that they can store the geolocation information with a photo. You can also process photos before uploading them to Panoramio to add geolocation information to the EXIF data, using hardware or software solutions.

If you have geocoded a photo before uploading it, you don't have to map it in Panoramio: the information contained with the photo lets Panoramio automatically map the photo. If you manually map a photo that's already geocoded, the manual mapping overrides the geolocation information and the original geolocation information is lost.

Modern browsers see EXIF information as soon as you select the file in the uploading process. Older browsers need to wait until the photo has been completely uploaded. Please refer to the Browser compatibility section for more information about browsers.

Adding titles, comments and tags

Titles, comments and tags can be added to your photos while your photos are being uploaded to Panoramio.

Adding titles

We display (only to you) the original name of the photo that you decided to upload to Panoramio. If you do not take any action we will not keep this original name and the photo will not have a title.

If you want to add a title click in the box where the original name is displayed and enter a title that describes the photo. After changing the title of the photo you just need to press Enter on the keyboard or click anywhere on the screen with the mouse and the title will be saved.

Remember that you can always change the title of the photo from the photo page later on.

You can also add a title to your photos by adding it to the EXIF of the photo before uploading. If your photo contains the title information and you do not modify the title field wile uploading the photo, the uploader will respect the information and show the title in your photo page.

Tagging photos

Tagging photos helps you organizing your photos and makes them more discoverable in Panoramio, so you will gain more exposure for your photos by tagging them.

As with mapping and with titles you can tag your photos while they are being uploaded.

Adding tags to a single photo

After selecting the photo that you want to upload to Panoramio, you will see the "Add tags+" link under the "Add a comment..." field for each photo you are uploading in the upload session. This link will give you the option to select either Suggested tags and Your tags.

Suggested tags will suggest different tags regarding time and location during the Panoramio upload.

  • Time: Panoramio will suggest a year tag from the EXIF of your photo.
  • Location: Panoramio will suggest Country, State/County and City tags following the Latitude/Longitude data from the EXIF of your photo. If the EXIF does not have Latitude/Longitude data, tags will be suggested when you map the photo. Location tags are suggested in the language you are viewing Panoramio in at Upload time.

Your tags will provide you the whole list of tags that you are already using in other photos in Panoramio.

Adding tags to multiple photos

You may want to use the same tag for all the photos you are uploading in the same upload session. On the right side of the uploader you will see a section called "Tag all the photos". Tag all the photos will also provide you with the option to select between Suggested tags and Your tags.

For more information on how to add and manage your tags once the upload process is concluded, please refer to the Tagging Photos section.

Adding a description to your photos

You may want to add a better description of your photo than a one line title. In this case you can click on "Add a description...".

Photo descriptions can be as long as you want, and they are great to understand what the photo is about and extra information about the place it was taken. The first 5 lines are displayed under the photo to your visitors, and they can decide to expand them to read the whole content.

If you do not have the time or the information needed, or simply want to modify or add extra information to the description of your photo later on, you can do so from the photo page. Make sure you are signed in to Panoramio and go to the photo page of the photo you want to add or edit the description. You will find the description field just under the photo. Click on "Add a description..." if you want to add a new description, or click on the existing description if you want to modify the existing description. Click on "Save" when done to save the changes.


The Panoramio Photo Explorer, which you can access by clicking on a photo thumbnail in the photo page, includes a panorama viewer with support for high-resolution images and for spherical panoramas.

High-resolution images

The panorama viewer lets you pan and zoom a large photo. If you use a high-resolution camera, the resulting images have more resolution than can be shown in a computer screen. With this viewer you can see the whole picture at once, or zoom into a particular area to see the details in high resolution.

The panorama viewer can also be used for "stitched flat panoramas". These are high-resolution images that are made by combining multiple lower-resolution images pointing into the same direction.

You do not need to do anything when uploading this kind of photos. The viewer will activate automatically after a delay when you are in the Photo Explorer.

Cylindrical panoramas

The panorama viewer can also be used for partial cylindrical panoramas, where you take multiple photos while turning around and then combine the photos into a long, narrow horizontal strip (this is what most people call "panoramas"). Again, you don't have to do anything to enable this mode, neither when uploading nor when viewing. However you will need special software (sometimes called "stitching software"), or a special function in your camera, to combine the photos into a single large image that you can upload.

There is no support for full cylindrical panoramas, where after reaching the "left" end of the strip the image would automatically continue into the "right" end of the strip.

Spherical panoramas

The panorama viewer can be used for spherical panoramas. A spherical panorama shows you a view in all directions around the observer, including up and down, as if the photo were a sphere instead of a rectangle, and the observer were at the center.

In this case, you need to take multiple photos that cover every direction around you—front, back, left, right, up, and down. Normally, six photos will not be enough, you will also need to cover the spaces between these six directions. To make these panoramas you will also need special software (sometimes called "stitching software"), or a special function in your camera, to combine the photos into a single large image that you can upload. Once you have uploaded the photo, you need to click the "change photo settings" link in that photo's page and select "Spherical panorama".

Technically, the images uploaded for spherical panoramas need to be in equirectangular projection. This means that the top of the image corresponds to "looking up" (altitude of +90° in a horizontal coordinate system), the bottom of the image is "looking down" (altitude -90°), the left and right edges of the image are both "looking back" (azimuth -180° and +180° respectively), and the center of the image is "looking forward" (altitude 0° and azimuth 0°). The image can have any size, each row will be assumed to span 360° of azimuth, and each column will be assumed to span 180° of altitude.

If you take several photos while turning left and right and also turning up and down, but do not cover the whole sphere, and you make a stitched panorama out of it, this is technically a partial spherical panorama. Panoramio does not support these. If you only turned up and down a little, try using the option "Regular image" in the photo settings page, the result will probably still be good.

Large image optimization

Both for regular images and for spherical panoramas, the panorama viewer makes it faster to view large images. It does this by downloading only the portions of the image that are really necessary, so you can start looking at the photo before all the pixels have been downloaded. To do this, Panoramio needs to prepare the photos, which takes between a few seconds and a couple of minutes. You do not need to do anything to activate the preparation, it happens automatically when a photo is uploaded. If the preparation has not finished, the panorama viewer will still work but the full detail of the photo will not be available.

Browser compatibility

We work very hard to make Panoramio and specifically our Uploader compatible with as many browsers as possible. Despite our efforts to remain as compatible as possible with all the existing browsers, there are some features that are only available on newer browsers that are not supported by older ones. It is for this reason that we recommend you to be always up to date with the version of the browser you use to access Panoramio.

To have the best experience possible with Panoramio we recommend you to use the following browsers:

  • Firefox version 4.0 or higher
  • Any version of Google Chrome

Partially supported browsers:
These browsers will work well with the Panoramio Uploader. The only differences are that you will not be able to select multiple files at once, and mapping and visualisation of the photo thumbnails will not be possible as long as the photos have not been fully uploaded.

  • Firefox versions before 4.0
  • Internet Explorer version 8.0 or higher
  • Internet Explorer 7.0 does not allow importing from Picasa Web Albums or Google+
  • Safari
  • Opera

Non supported browsers:
Versions of Internet Explorer before 7.0 are not supported.

Visit the following links to download the latest version of your browser for the best browsing experience with Panoramio and on the web in general:

Viewing your uploaded photos

As soon as you've uploaded your photos to Panoramio you can view them on Panoramio's map, and in a local Google Earth KML file, where your photos appear as miniatures.

To view your photos on Panoramio's map:
While viewing Panoramio's map, click the Recent tab or the Your photos tab.

To view your photos as they will appear in Google Earth:
Refer to How to preview your photo in Google Earth.