I had a lot of photos uploaded to Panoramio. Some time back Google said I needed to "convert" my Panoramio account to a Google account to preserve them when they retire Panoramio. I thought I did all that. My Panoramio photos continued to be available in Google Earth.

Now that they took Panoramio away, I can't see my photos at all. Interestingly, the little square photo symbols still appear in Google Earth, and hovering over them shows the title I entered. When I click on one, it pops up "Try the new Photos layer!". When I do, my photos aren't there.

Clicking on "Panoramio has been retired" brings up a page that describes (in typical Google vague terms with no way to ask any questions) how Panoramio has been discontinued. Point 2 is:

2. Will my Panoramio photos continue to appear in Google Earth and Google Maps?

If your Panoramio photos were appearing in Google Maps with the name of your Google Account, then they will continue to appear along with their original view counts. If they were only attributed to your Panoramio username, they will no longer appear. You can view and manage photos by signing in to Google Maps and accessing the Contributions screen from the main menu.

Apparently there is a difference between "name of your Google account" and "Panoramio username". I thought the two were the same since I "converted" the Panoramio account to a Google account a while ago.

Where do I find documentation that actually explains the whole hierarchy and significance to the various Google "accounts" logins, and the like? I am confused and am trying to RTFM.

Where are my Panoramio photos now? How do I access them? What do I need to do so that they show up in Google Earth again?

2 Answers 2


There has been some recent news on this. The migration hit some problems and it is not complete. Google is working on their migration tool to fix the issues and presumably they will run the migration completely once that is done.

Google Earth team (April 4):

We are still working to migrate the photos of those Panoramio users who linked to their Google+ profiles. We are detangling some oversights in the transfer tool’s original design and need to take our time in order to do it right. This has taken far longer than originally expected, so we sincerely appreciate your patience.

Once the migration is complete, you should see an improvement in the coverage and availability of photos in Earth, especially in out-of-the-way places. More on that below.

I can currently see my Panoramio-uploaded photos on my Contributions screen of Google Maps. You should be able to see yours here - https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/

To find it, just go to Google Maps, make sure you aren't viewing any particulary place and don't have anything searched, and then use the "hamburger menu" (three horiztontal lines), and then click "Your contributions".

You have to be logged into the Google account that your Panoramio account was linked to. I believe that Google account also had to be Google+ enabled. Chances are it was.

However, if you click on a photo here, the map view on the right kind of flies down to the ground and then just shows a black screen instead of a larger image. Google is aware of this problem, but I think it's related to the migration issue.

None of the Panoramio photos show in Google Earth right now. They did fully disable the layer, and only the little icons show at the locations where Panoramio photos existed. The server holding the actual images that displayed from Panoramio photos layer in Google Earth is gone.

Google Earth team (April 6):

Further clarification: We can’t bring back the Panoramio layer There’s no way to bring back the original Panoramio layer. The Earth database we use to display the points on the map contains the locations of the original Panoramio photos and just a reference to the original photo URLs. However, that database is separate from the server that hosted the Panoramio images themselves. That server has been taken down, so those URLs aren’t valid anymore. This is why we put the notification message in all the balloons and offered people a way to turn on the new Google Maps Photos layer.

We have to wait until the eligible Panoramio photos are migrated into the new catalog (and hosted under their new URLs) before we can include them in the new Photos layer.

I think they will show within the new Google Maps photos layer in Google Earth once the migration has completed.

Source: Google Maps & Earth Help Forum post by Google Earth team - https://productforums.google.com/d/msg/maps/H4VObBFsIyA/4sD_04V2AgAJ

I encourage you to go to the link above and watch for progress, and also help shape the future functionality of Google products regarding photo layers for Google Earth and Maps, and uploading of geolocated photos. I think Google can build in features to bring Maps closer to the great functionality Panoramio had, but we need to nudge them that direction. Google did hear users when lots were upset about the disappearance of Panoramio photos, both because Earth users missed the great photos layer, and former Panoramio users missed the fun of uploading a mapped photo.

  • Here's the thing - the only contributions I can see from the above link is of photos that correspond to the new "business" (or attractions) model - I had tons of photos taken of scenic locations that weren't "anywhere" according to Google. You can no longer contribute photos of such locations nor does it seem you can see them as such any more.
    – Michael
    Oct 11, 2020 at 18:01
  • Yes I'm very aware of that. You can't upload a photo without starting at a place listing. With Panoramio, tying it to a place listing was optional. Many things don't have any relevant listing so you then can't upload those. I like the Panoramio way better. I thought you could still see Panoramio photos not tied to place listings when you browse the map with photos turned on. I tested finding my own photos - found some, but not others. See 3 of mine with no place listing at this link with photos layer enabled google.com/maps/@36.5419254,-118.6318647,1696a,35y,187.69h/…
    – mikato
    Oct 13, 2020 at 5:41

My panoramio pics are here https://www.google.com/maps/contrib/100381458774174076998/photos/@51.2690762,15.0247536,549551m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m3!8m2!3m1!1e1

I think they may add them in time but who knows really, they do what they want. Real shame about it but business is business I guess, if google earth and panoramio were non profit, like wikipedia it wouldn't happenned but google only cares about adding pictures that show shops and restaurants so they can get some money from them, they have no income from picture of country road or a tree.

  • Thanks for trying to help, but this doesn't really answer any of my questions. What process did you follow in your "Google account" to get at your previous Panoramio pictures? Feb 2, 2018 at 11:57
  • I forgot when you downvoted.
    – V8 Power
    Feb 10, 2018 at 5:17
  • 1
    I didn't downvote. In fact, I upvoted because you at least tried to help. I don't have enough rep here to see separate up and down vote totals, but at least two people downvoted this. Feb 10, 2018 at 17:32

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