There are two things that I really enjoy doing, traveling and taking photographs. So it only makes sense that I would try and combine the two whenever possible. The problem is that when I travel to a location for the first time, it is difficult to know if there is anything interesting to shoot and if so, where they are. Sure, if you are going to some famous landmark, it’s easy to locate things to photograph, but what about places that may be a bit off the radar? That’s why my favorite travel companion has become Google Earth. And now that they have recently updated the program for the iPad, it’s even better than before.
So what makes Google Earth such a great tool for the traveling photographer? It has everything to do with the Panoramio photos. Here’s how it works, when the Layers menu is opened in Google Earth (iPad version) there is an option labeled Panoramio Photos. Simply turn on the layer and then proceed to the location that you will be visiting.
When you get zoomed in, you will start to see small image icons pop up on the map. Tap on one of these and an image will pop up of something that someone took in that location. The cool thing is that the more of these small icons you see, the better chance that there is something interesting in the area that you may want to photograph.
If you are using the computer based version of Google Earth, you can turn on the Panoramio option inside of the Layers panel under the Borders and Labels section. There are also tons of other options that you can turn on in the computer version including YouTube videos, National Geographic story items, webcams, and tons of other features. All of them geographically placed so you can discover new things about the places you may be visiting.
The next time you are going to be going away on a little trip, try entering the location into the Google Earth search and then check to see if anyone else has posted anything photo-worthy for your destination. You just may find that there are some pretty photogenic spots that you may never have known about otherwise.
By the way, the absolute best thing about Google Earth is the price – FREE. It’s hard to believe they give away something this good. You can find your specific flavor of Google Earth by clicking here. If you want to try the iPad app click here.