There is a treasure chest full of photos on the Internet of all of the places you would like to go and see, whether it be an ancestral home in Europe or your old homestead in the Midwestern U.S. Of course, you can do a photo search on Google, but you may get a lot of images you really don't care to see. Fortunately, there is a backdoor to many of the photos for very, very specific locations, including links to some of the most fabulous 360 degree panoramas you have ever seen.
To get to this treasure trove of photos, you need to use a couple of tools from the Web. First is the old standby Wikipedia. You may not know, but many locations throughout the world are now populating the pages of Wikipedia. Let me start with an example of my own town, Mesa, Arizona. Here is the Wikipedia page for Mesa:
You can click on the image to get a larger view. All you have to do to find all of these places is to type in the name of the location and the word "wikipedia" when you do a Google search. Now focus on the arrow. It is pointing to the coordinates for the location, in this case, Mesa, Arizona. When you click on the coordinates, you get a screen listing all of the places on the Internet where that location appears. Really, there is a huge list of websites. Here is a screen shot of what happens when you click on the coordinates for Mesa, Arizona:
Bear in mind, this is only a small part of the page. This is called the GeoHack for the location. You will see categories like Global services, Wikipedia articles, and guess what Photos. These are links to photos of that particular geographical location. Here is another screen shot of the same page, but showing the links to the photos:
Now what happens if I click on one of the listed sources? Obviously, I go to the site listed but I am directed to photos of the location I chose. Usually, the link takes you to a map of the location with photos either listed or marked on the map. Here is a screen shot of what I get when I click on link for the Commons:
Just when you thought you had a handle on the Web, I come along and show you, you haven't even started yet. OK, I don't feel bad about it at all. I will delve a little further into this vast resource in the next few posts. Meanwhile, if you would like to see some of my recent photos, click on the link to 360Cities for Mesa or Scottsdale or Phoenix.