Google buys a panorama startup to bolster Street View

Think that Google Street View could use a fresh coat of paint? Google does, too. The search firm has just snapped up Digisfera, a Portugese startup whose specialty is making the most out of panoramic photos. The newly-acquired company isn't saying exactly what it'll do within the Street View team, but its work on some more ambitious projects may be a clue. It produced a giant tagged panorama at the 2014 World Cup, for example, and captured a sweeping view of President Obama's inauguration.

As with many buyouts, some of Digisfera's work is going away. Its tagging system (PanoTag) is shutting down on October 31st, and its panorama viewer (Marizpano) is going open source to preserve the underlying technology. However, you might not miss them too much if this deal leads to far more interactive Street View shots.