Google Maps : Dear Dr. Ed, I seem to have developed a rash or well at least I’m completely covered in spots.
Dr Ed : Don’t worry Maps, it just a new way of finding geocoded images contributed by the photographers of the web.
If you have looked at Streetview ( by dragging the pegman) recently outside of the existing areas of coverage you may have noted spots of streetview coverage, this is not the result of a very disorganised group of streetview car drivers, but is a way of exposing other geocoded imagery where it is available.
Although the Google Streetview cars are once again driving the world bringing Street View images to many new countries in the meantime you can find suitably moderated and attributed user contributed images from Panoramio.
The example below is from Karon, the beach resort in Phuket, Thailand which brought back happy memories of my honeymoon, which was contributed by panoramio user bareman
The interesting point to ponder is as more and more geocoded images are published and indexed on the web, at what point if ever in the future will it be possible to replicate the complete coverage of Streetview with user contributed images ?