Panoramio Help

Groups

Panoramio is a photography community about photos of the World. There is so much more in this World than the photos selected following the Google Earth and Google Maps acceptance criteria and for this reason we want to give you the freedom to show your own perspective of the place we live in with Panoramio Groups.

Panoramio Groups is a place for discussions about a topic you may feel enthusiastic about. "Wild animals in Africa", "Traditional Dances", "Portraits" or "Lakes of North America"; can be topics worth a discussion, so go ahead and try to find a group that fits your taste or create a new one if you do not find the topic you are interested in. You may also use Panoramio groups to organize a Panomeeting and share the experiences and photos of the meeting with the world or you may also want to use Panoramio groups to organize a photo competition or to play some games. Only your imagination can decide what can be done with Panoramio groups.

Each group consists of members, a discussion section and a collection of photos. Each group has a layer associated that allows the visualisation of the photos on a map within Panoramio, in Google Earth and even at your own Website in a Slideshow with an embeddable widget created with the Panoramio Widget API.

Accessing Groups

If it is the first time you access Groups you can do so by:

If you are already a member of a group, you may want to access the group directly. Each group has a group ID and the option of a group URL. In that case you can access the group directly using:

  • http://www.panoramio.com/group/group_ID
  • http://www.panoramio.com/group/group_URL

You may also want to browse the Panoramio Groups directory to find a group of your interest.

Group owners, moderators, members and visitors

In groups you can be an owner, a moderator, a member or a visitor.

Each Panoramio user is a visitor. Like everything in Panoramio, the content of Panoramio groups is public. This means that photos and discussions are available to everyone on the web, so visitors can view the photos, the conversation and the members of a group.

A group member is a Panoramio user passionate with the topic of the group. A group member can collaborate with good photos and nice discussions. Being a member of the group means you love that topic, not that you are the best on it. A member of a group can:

  • Participate in the discussions
  • Add photos
  • Suggest to other Panoramio users to join the group

A group moderator is a group member with some additional rights granted by the owner with the objective to have the group well managed. A group can have multiple moderators and any member of the group can apply for moderation rights to the owner of the group.

A group owner has even more rights than a moderator. The person that created the group is automatically an owner, but he or she can invite more users to become owners.

This table shows what each kind of user can do:

Visitor Member Moderator Owner
See photos, members, conversations yesyesyesyes
Add photos yesyesyes
Participate in discussions yesyesyes
Invite other users to join yesyesyes
Accept new members yesyes
Remove other user's photos yesyes
Remove members yesyes
Set group description and rules yes
Invite members to become moderators yes
Remove other user's moderation rights yes
Set the group presentation photo yes
Invite moderators to become owners yes

Creating a group

Check the Panoramio Groups directory to see whether there is already a group that fits your needs as you may want to join it. If that is not the case, go to www.panoramio.com/groups and click on the "Create Group"; button to get started.

To create a group you’ll need to upgrade your account to a Google Account if you have not done so yet.

When you create a group, you can define:

  • Group name. This is the name of the group and it should be a reflection of the purpose of the group
  • Group summary. It is meant to be a short description of the group. Try to keep it short and descriptive
  • Group description and rules. This section explains what content can be added to the group and which content not. It also explains in detail what is the purpose of the group

All this information can be modified at any time by the owner of the group in the Settings. The Settings of the group can be reached by clicking on the Settings link on the group main page (only visible by the owner).

Each group has also an avatar associated to it that should be descriptive of the group. The avatar can only be changed by the owner of the group on the Settings page of the group.

Groups Settings

Group Settings allow the owner of the group to change group name, group summary, group description and rules, and group avatar.

Group Settings are accessible following the link that appears after the group's name in the group's main page. As the owner of the group is the only member allowed to do changes in the Settings, the Settings link is only visible to the owner.

A descriptive avatar is very important to attract new members to the group. An avatar can only be selected after the creation of the group, while the rest of the settings can be defined during the creation of the group. We recommend group owners to have this Settings well defined and clear as this may decide the success of the group.

Joining a group

To join an existing group, go to the group page and click on the "Join group" button. Group membership requests need to be accepted by the owner or by any of the moderators of the group, for this reason when you click "Join group" you’ll have the opportunity to send a message together with an example of the photos you will contribute to make your application more interesting. A notification will be sent to your email inbox as soon as your application gets accepted.

If you are a member of a group and want to cancel your membership, just go to the group page and click on the "Leave this group" link under the Membership section on the right navigation bar.

To join a group you’ll need to upgrade your account to a Google Account if you have not done it yet. You don’t need an upgraded account if you are just visiting a group.

Panoramio users can create and own up to 20 groups. Deleted groups do not count towards this limit. There is no limit to the number of groups a user can be member or moderator.

Adding photos to a group

You can add photos to a group from the Photo Page or from the Group Page and the same photo can be added to more that one group on the same time.

  • To add a photo to a group from the Photo Page go to the "Featured in these groups" section on the right navigation bar and select all the groups you want to add the photo to
  • To add a photo to a group from the Group Page click on the "+Add Photos" button and select all the photos you want to add to the group from the Selection widget. Click "Add selected" when you finish selecting all the photos you want to add

Removing a photo from a group never deletes the photo from the user account, but on the other side deleting a photo from your account removes it from any group you added it previously.

Adding users to a group

A Panoramio user can be invited to a group from the user page or from the photo page.

  • From the Photo page: You may want to invite a user to your group because you think a photo from this user’s collection fits your group description. If this is the case, click on the "Invite this user to a group" link on the photo page. If the user accepts your invitation the photo will be automatically added to the group. Before inviting a user, please consider whether the user will like to actively participate in the group with more photos and discussions
  • From the User page: It is not only one specific photo that interests you but you think the user can contribute with different photos and discussions to your group. If that is the case click on the "Invite this user to a group" link on the user page

Group discussions

Group discussions is the new section where you can have a conversation about the group’s topic, about any of the photos uploaded in the group, or whatever you come up with.

You can keep up to date with group discussions on the web, or you can subscribe to a daily summary of the discussions via email. To change your subscription settings to a group go to the "Discussions" section of the group and click on "My membership".

You can add photos in the discussions to comment about them, or to help supporting your arguments. To do so:

  • Click on the "Insert image" link on the toolbar of the discussions editor
  • Insert an Image using the URL option

This will add an image in original size in the discussion. We recommend to change the size of the image to "Medium" and to add a link to your photo page so users can visit your photo and leave you a comment personally. To do so:

  • Click one time on the image and a dialog will open with 2 options: Link and Image
  • Change the Link to the link of your Photo page ( e.g. www.panoramio.com/photo/photo_ID )
  • Change the Image size to Medium

It is also recommended to add the link to the Photo page under the image in discussions. This way it is clearer for others how to access your photo.

Viewing Group Photos

From the main page of a group you will find links to:

  • View on map
  • View in Google Earth
  • Slideshow

Group photos can be added to any website or blog using the Panoramio Widget API. Check the Widget API help content for more information.

Deleting a Panoramio group

Groups are individual communities. Deleting a group is something that needs to be done very cautiously as deletion is permanent and a deleted group can not be recovered.

A group owner can delete a group after carefully considering the implications. For this reason, the option is only available after the removal of all members and photos from the group (no need to remove Discussions).

After removing members and photos from the group, the Group owner will have to go to the Settings page of the group where a "Delete this group" button will be placed under the avatar of the group.

If, as a group owner, you'd like to leave a group, but you don't want to delete the group because it is a lively community of users, please contact questions@panoramio.com so we can transfer the group ownership to some other group member.

Tips to build a great forum in your group

Having an interesting group is what will keep your group alive. Whether you are the owner, a moderator or a member, it is your responsibility to have an interesting group. These are a few tips that may help you do that:

  1. Keep a balance between the photos you add to a group and the discussions about them. A group only with photos or a group only with discussions is not interesting. Make sure you participate both by adding photos and discussing about them
  2. Discussions are nicer when we have photos within the text to discuss about. Make sure the size of the photos you add in discussions is not too big, medium is recommended, and try to link the photo to your photo page www.panoramio.com/photo/photo_ID. For more information about adding photos in discussions check the Group discussions section
  3. Keep discussions interesting. Members that join the group did so because they are interested in the topic of the group. Try to stick to the topic of the group and challenge other members by organizing games, competitions, regular discussions about a common interest, etc. For example, if a member knows that every Wednesday a new game will start, or that every Thursday a new Question of the Week will come, members will feel engaged and they will visit the group to see these topics and participate on them
  4. Be patient with other members of the group, but do not let abusive members hijack the group. We learned that most discussions can be solved with an off-line conversation. If a topic is getting hot, please send a message using for example Private Messaging to that other member. If that does not solve the problem check with a group moderator as that member may not be a good member for your group. Sometimes we must be patient and respect other's opinions even though we may disagree.

Group Policies

Panoramio believes in Freedom of Speech and that is why we developed this tool, to allow Panoramio users to discuss about photography and the World. Panoramio Groups are small communities ruled by the Panoramio Terms of Service and restricted by the rules of the group defined by the owner of the group. when participating in a group, please remember this 3 principles:

  • Always respect the opinion and point of view of another group member when participating in a discussion. It is fine to disagree, but always with respect
  • Stick to the topics of the group. Each group has a set of rules, if you want to discuss about a topic that is not part of that group please look for another group and in case you do not find one that meets your criteria, create one
  • Enjoy with your community. We are here to have fun and enjoy a common passion, try to make the most of it

Panoramio Groups policies are the same as those listed in the Panoramio Terms of Service.
In addition, groups owners are responsible to define their groups specific rules. Owners, Moderators and Members are responsible to make sure those rules are followed. If a member is not following the groups rules, it is the owner's and/or the moderator's responsibility to take appropriate action.

A group will be deleted together with all its content if it is not following the Panoramio Terms of Service.

Group specific criteria for photo selection and Google Earth/Google Maps criteria for photo selection are different concepts.

  • Group specific criteria: Each group defines which kind of photos will be accepted. Being accepted to a group does not mean to be accepted for Google Earth/Google Maps and the other way round. It is for this reason that in a group we will find photos that are accepted for Google Earth/Google Maps and photos that are not. In any case, each group will have its own layer to view those photos together in a Map and Google Earth
  • Google Earth/Google Maps criteria: Photos that follow this criteria will appear in the Photos layer of Google Maps and Google Earth. Depending on the specific rules of a group, this photos may be accepted in the group or not

For example, you could have a group called "Old cars" where a photo of a mountain would not be accepted, even though that photo would be suitable for the Google Earth/Google Maps layer, while a photo of and old car would be accepted in the group and at the same time rejected from the Google Earth/Maps layer.