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Google acquires Panoramio

Adds photo-sharing to its panoply of services

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Google continued its attempts to offer every service imaginable online by purchasing a Spanish photo-sharing website.

Panoramio's technology allows user to pin pictures to Google's online maps to show where they were taken. The site boasts more than one million photos and more than 300,000 registered users.

The two firms have been allies for several months as Google used the Spanish firm's technology to let photographers link photos to points on Google Earth maps where they were created.

The deal follows ENN reporting last month that Google and Microsoft were going head to head over street mapping software, with the two giants offering a broad range of new functions for their respective packages.

"I am pleased to tell you that we've agreed to purchase Panoramio," said John Hanke, director of Google Earth, in a posting on the internet giant's official blog.

"Those of you already using Google Earth have no doubt noticed Panoramio's striking images documenting settings from all over the world, like moonscapes in Croatia; dramatic sunsets in Australia, and innovative architecture in the United Arab Emirates," said Hanke.

"We've been working with Panoramio for some time. Its photos have been a default layer in Google Earth since the beginning of the year. This layer will remain in place as our teams work together toward further integrating this amazing content, generated by many, into our mapping technologies."

Following the acquisition Google will need to deal with Panoramio's user permission service. As part of its terms of service, Panoramio allows users to opt out and have their personal information deleted if the service is acquired by another company. A site has been set up to allow Panoramio users to pull their photos and user information from the site before the Google deal is finalised.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Copyright © 2007, ENN

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