Just received an email from the folks at Panoramio, telling me that they are going to be bought out by Google.
From the email:
Panoramio is going to be acquired by Google!
The deal is set to close in about two weeks. We're excited and we hope you are too! The acquisition will be an overwhelmingly good thing for Panoramio uploaders and viewers alike. Uploaders will get to leverage Google's reach, increasing the exposure of their photographs to photophiles around the world. Viewers will get to choose from a larger universe of photographs as Panoramio becomes more widely known.
This is excellent news, as it means that Panoramio will now be able to start using the immense Google infrastructure for the delivery of user submitted photos.
Update: There's more here on the Panoramio blog. I've reposted the blog entry below in case panoramio gets overwhelmed with Digg traffic:
We are very (and we mean very) happy to announce that Panoramio will be acquired by Google.
The integration of photos from Panoramio in Google Earth has been so successful since John Hanke suggested it that we see the acquisition of Panoramio as a natural consequence. We have tightened our relationship with Google Earth more and more in recent months, and at the end we decided to walk one step further. After so much work together, honestly, we couldn’t imagine a better scenario than selling Panoramio to Google. Most people upload their photos to Panoramio to share them through Google Earth, and it’s way cool to see Panoramio’s photos in Google Earth, so the upcoming acquisition reaffirms the current win-win situation.
For now, our user interface will not change; accounts, urls, features… We will keep working for Panoramio as a team, but this time using Google infrastructure as Panoramio further integrates into Google’s mapping technologies. We will also keep answering e-mails directly as much as possible.
The upcoming acquisition will bring many advantages to Panoramio users, starting with a better infrastructure to improve the reliability of Panoramio, more frequent updates of Panoramio’s Google Earth layer, and more resources for some invisible tasks that take time out from working on new features.
To watch our little project grow since its conception one and a half years ago has been an amazing experience, and we hope to make it even bigger with this step and with your continued support. We have worked hard to arrive to this point, but we know we could not do it without all of you, the wonderful community of people that upload their best photos to Panoramio. You deserve all the credit. There are no words to say how honoured we feel when someone decides to choose Panoramio for sharing their photos.
We have lots of ideas in the pipeline. Our baby is still growing, so stay tuned!
José, Joaquín and Eduardo
Well done guys! One and a half years of darn good work has paid off.