PANO vs. GOOGLE VIEWS ----- Since 2009, I have travelled more than 55.000 km by car. More than 100 city tours, inspired by Panoramio, guided by Panoramio, and always with my camera at hand, for Panoramio.
I don't call myself a photographer, no. My 6000 Pano pics just represent the locations. For me, to organize, to remember. For others, to get an impression before they travel, or to fresh up memories after travel, or simply to get impressions of places where they can't travel themself, for whatever reason.
For the first purpose, I could also leave the pics on my hard disk. There are other tools out there which do the same job much faster, locally. But I once chose to share them, for the latter purpose.
Panoramio is the one and only platform for travellers, photographers, and those who can't travel; with the chance to interact, to get to know each other, to make friendships. Friendships across borders, whether geographical, religious, political; far beyond Facebook or Google+.
Panoramio isn't just pictures which appear on the net automatically. Panoramio is the result of many, many, many people who all have their reasons to photograph, to work on their pictures, to share, to spend hundreds and thousands of hours, and a whole lot of money, be it for the journeys, be it for the new camera model.
Migrating the pictures to Google Views will murder the soul in it. And, economically spoken, it will kill the future business, i.e. the users' willingness to continue to upload any further dedicated photo.
In the past, Google often misinterpreted Panoramio as as natural source of pictures, took the availablility of good quality pictures from all over the world as a natural law. No, it isn't. Google had to accept this more than once, since Panoramio had been acquired. But the lessons didn't suffice, apparently. Google: Kill the community, and you will kill your own business. Harvest the pictures, but there will be no next season, no new growth. Feed the cows instead of slaughter them !
For the moment, I have continued to upload pictures. But depending on what comes next, I am always ready to delete ALL pictures. What is 6000, there are over 80 million pictures. But many others are going to do the same. Long time contributors, high quality contributors, who will take their pearls and gems with them.
For my personal purposes, managing my recent travels, deleting my pictures won't mean a big loss, besides frustration. But to the public, for those who (plan to) travel, it will be a loss. To those who aren't able to travel, it will be an even bigger loss. And to Google business ... peanuts ? Really ? Think twice !
----- sign the petition at http://www.change.org/p/google-larry-and-sergey-google-keep-the-panoramio-community-alive ----- and please scroll down and read the signees' comments WHY they signed. Google: THESE FELLOWS make your business run, not the number of pictures.