Getting pictures of your ancestors’ homelands
- Open a Web browser to http://www.panoramio.com/
- Type in a place name and click Search
- Browse the pictures that appear
- If you see one you want to save, right-click it with the mouse and click Save Picture As…
- Optionally, leave a comment for the person who posted the photo. Use a “junk e-mail” address
Why is this useful?
- Supplement your histories with beautiful photographs of your ancestors’ homelands.
- See what the area looks like without visiting it.
- Communicate with people that took the photographs.
- Add your own interesting photographs for the benefit of others.
- Submit JPG photos. They are smaller in size and will load quicker.
- Can’t submit photos of people to Panoramio.
- Flickr provides a similar way to browse photos on a map, but the photos can be of anything.
My ancestors' homeland: Killybegs, Ireland. Photo obtained from Panoramio.
“Driving” through a neighborhood
- Open a Web browser to http://maps.google.com/
- Click the StreetView button. You’ll see some cameras of areas where StreetView is available.
- Zoom to one of the cities with a camera icon or type in an address from one of those cities and click Search Maps. You should see a little yellow man and some streets outlined in blue. The blue streets have StreetView.
- Drag and drop the man onto the street you want to view. A viewer window should appear.
- Use the arrows on the viewer window to take a “drive” down the street. You can look to the right or left, zoom in and out, or turn around.
Why is this useful?
- Tour your ancestors’ neighborhoods without actually having to go there.
- Enter addresses from vital records, journals, etc. to see what the area looks like.
- Take a screen capture of a house, landmark, etc. for your family records.
- If you something you want to save a picture of, press the Prt Scr (Print Screen) key. Then open Paint and click Edit > Paste. Then save the file.
- If you’re taking many screen captures, try SnagIt by TechSmith software.
- The address that Google Maps gives you may not put you at the exact house. Some prior knowledge of the area is helpful.
- If your area doesn’t have StreetView, keep checking back.
My great-grandparents' former home in South Gate, California, as seen in Google Maps StreetView.