Who is looking at these pictures?

Who would you say is looking at these pictures. The sheer quantity of images is staggering. I hope to hit two and a quarter million pictures tonight. Who looks at these? Is there a counter for views like on Google?
Who would gain from these pictures?
I enjoy looking for new places, new routes to map, but who looks at them?
My pictures from yesterday were some of my best to date, or I think so. But even if you wanted to look at them how would you know where to look?
Who is profiting from these pictures?

The sad answer is that nobody is looking att your pictures :frowning:

There is a counter under the sequence pictures in the upload section. Some of my sequences have up to 100 views but many have 0

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Mapillary are using them to improove their machine learning. Someone may look at them in 10 or 30 years. Out of 100.000 images someone may find a single image worth a lot at any time. It is very hard to measure. Images of the neighborhood you grew up in becomes valueable after many years. I would like to have Mapillary sequences of the places I grew up, but the best I can do is to make them for my kids and other people.

In Denmark, Norway and Sweeden, the local “phone book” service Krak are showing Mapillary images when you search for an address.


Most of the views are from me.
I regularly get thanks from a mapper here and there. The pictures are used to solve OSM notes. That is why after fully covering my region, I now try to make more and sharper pictures. Now I can read the reference numbers of the bridges over the highway.
I use them myself a lot.
I take picture, and often only long after that I develop an interest to map the things that are on the picture. I verified already mapped defibrillators with it. Then I don’t have to visit them.
Now I am proud that some of my pictures are in a computer vision benchmark.

I also developed many skills and spent mucht money with mly. Let’s say that mly gave me an excuse to buy things I like and to visit places.

Of course, we cannot compare our pictures. Maybe Cliff Barnes from “Dallas” would be interested in yours. :smile:


You cannot compare it to Google. There I uploaded 4 pictures and in a few months they were seen 1000 times.
I also liked to follow the views to the Carto maps I made. Well, you are my Facebook friend, you can find it.

@JBTheMilker Well, I use your pictures to improve OSM (OpenStreetMap). I already mapped a lot of places where you have uploaded photos, e.g. I added very much details in Mount Gilead (only some addresses are missing now which I can’t see on your photos) or Sandusky. You can see my progress on the backgroud map of Mapillary or on OpenStreetMap:



I recently received a message from @clockwerx about a team project to contribute to OpenStreetMap based on my images so I know that mine are being viewed by others.

I have also used images to improve OpenStreetMap and to show images to others. It can be quicker and easier to use an image in Mapillary than to copy dashcam recordings, editing them, uploading them and then sharing.

Also share anything interesting you find!


You all have pretty much confirmed my suspicion. I sort of figured nearly no one was pawing through two and a quarter million sub par pictures.
I was warned not to compare Mapillary with Google, but I came from the Panoramio side.
Over on Google Earth I enjoyed eight hundred million views at the time of their pulling the plug. I bet I might have half that much again by now.
On Google Maps, where I started the same time I started with Mapillary, I have twelve million views on one of my five gmail accounts.
I enjoy taking a better grade of picture than the camera in the windshield can ever do.
I liked to find things people like to look at pictures of, old barns, churches, baby horses and stone bridges. Then I try to take the best picture I can.

Mapillary serves a purpose, although no one will ever look at my two and a quarter million sub par pictures, taking those has led me to many great places where I found some nice old barns and baby horses to take pictures of.
I wish having a camera pointing forward would take better pictures, but I know there is more to it than that.

Who is profiting from these pictures?

In monetary term no one yet directly. But people already make money with OSM.
And directly, let’s hope the venture capitalists one day. Maybe mly will become the new Microsoft ten years from now.

And then you …

can be proud.


There was also a good article on how Mapillary images are used in Open Street Mapping to improve the maps.


and another about how the images were used to correct turn restrictions


Well. I think comparing Mapillary photos to Panoramio or single photos uploaded to Google Maps is like comparing people who currently drive passenger cars and what they see to those that have lined up for private space flights. That is, many are doing the prior and seeing a lot and benefiting from it monetarily. As for the latter, there are only a few people doing it today and they have seen very “little”, and will not see that much (in quantity) in the near future.

Ok, my comparison is half-baked too, but the point is that these are two different things. It’s a bit like OSM was only a few years ago – not right to compare it to Google Maps. Or comparing Wikipedia to Encyclopedia Britannica in 2003. Or Linux to Windoze in 1996.

The whole premise of Mapillary, or OSM, or Wikipedia, Linux, etc, are totally different. (i) Just for the fun of it – ok, this is not really true for Mapillary as it’s a private venture, (ii) open data, open source make it totally different for actually most users in terms of freedom, possibilities and legal strings attached – and money (iii) community-based / peer prodcution – make it different socially, which is true “even” for Mapillary (as a private venture).

I’ve taken over 300k photos all around Nicaragua covering almost half of the country’s primary and secondary highway network, nearly 300km of the 400km of bus routes of Managua the capital, many neat off road / off the beaten path places, and many beautiful passages. I also know that the photos have been used to map things both locally and remotely. I’ve used the photos I’ve taken as an example to lobby the use of Mapillary to a number of development organizations because I know that it would help make international / national development significantly more efficient and effective. And I’ve gotten some good response even though my direct actions haven’t lead to action that much (even though it has turned some important heads). Elsewhere on the globe there are tangible examples of Mapillary use, e.g. with Mapillary use by the World Bank and the Red Cross. These things can and I think will be huge.

Going back to who are viewing the photos now and comparisons, namely Google’s services, we need to remember that there are literally hundreds of millions of users (actually the order of magnitude is billion). They’ve become the verb that people across the globe use for checking things out both searching the web as well as the map. Getting even hundreds of millions of hits to some beautiful photos that are featured in Google Maps and Google earth is not that surprising, even though it is amazing of course. Mapillary hasn’t really built any features to bookmark or rate or make list(s) of nice photos (like especially Flickr but also Google has done). Not yet, that is. With (initially and/or comparatively) small / little resourced ventures like Mapillary, OSM, Wikipedia or Linux, etc one needs to take a helicopter view to things.
Or then just do things for the fun of it!

PS. Forgot to mention another major issue in comparing single views of a Mapillary photo to a Google service photo – or Flickr or alike for that matter: single photos are vetted. Mapillary views should be compared to a single screen view in Google Street View. I bet by far most of those go just as unviewed as Mapillary photos…


I was concerned at first when 18 hours went by before there were any responses to this topic. Now there have been many enlightening posts in response. I have enjoyed reading them.
Much of the enjoyment I have gotten out of taking pictures is the enjoyment others get from my simple works. It is not so much how many people see them, as it is how much pleasure they get from the pictures.
On the flip side, I enjoy taking pictures, just getting to the places and recording what I’ve seen.
I guess you can tell from my other posts that I also get joy from having big numbers attributed to me.
I know well what two and a quarter million feel like. That is the number of miles I drove Over The Road as well as being the number of pictures attributed to me on Mapillary.


tryl said
““Someone may look at them in 10 or 30 years. Out of 100.000 images someone may find a single image worth a lot at any time. It is very hard to measure. Images of the neighborhood you grew up in becomes valueable after many years. I would like to have Mapillary sequences of the places I grew up, but the best I can do is to make them for my kids and other people.””
I love the emails I get telling me I’ve posted a picture of someone’s boyhood home or asking me the price of a home for sale I’ve taken a picture of.
I have to laugh sometimes at the emails. They seldom tell me what town or state they are referring to, they figure I should remember that church, bridge or house. I posted pictures in 38 of the 50 states.


I have definitely used other people’s images to improve OpenStreetMap. And I’m not sure but I think using the JOSM plugin to view images does not bump up the view count on the sequences in your profile. So there may actually be a few more views than reported :slight_smile:


I rather think people could get angry at me. Picturing their house at a bad moment e.g.

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Filipc said,
I rather think people could get angry at me. Picturing their house at a bad moment e.g.

That has happened. Now, putting pictures on Google Maps along with reviews, I’ve been awarded several gift cards if I would just come back, take a more favorable picture and write another review.
The biggest share of the comments I get are to Praise my capture of a place they knew long ago.

Also an interesting reading how our images can be used https://techcrunch.com/2017/05/03/mapillary-open-sources-25k-street-level-images-to-train-automotive-ai-systems/

Nice to see the image recognition with Mapillary pictures, looks good.

You may check https://www.mapillary.com/dataset/vistas and look at your country if your image is part of the 25.000 dataset


Very interesting reading.

If you read down through this thread you will learn that the vast majority of your contributions won’t ever be viewed as one might look at a picture, more as data, numbers and streams of pictures. Witch roads are done and witch are yet to be done.
I have been working to find roads that go where I need to be that don’t have the green line yet.
I head 107 miles east in Ohio today to pick up then tomorrow I run out to Missouri and then Iowa.
I hope to make many roads green.
I also hope to take some worthwhile pictures. But I guess those real pictures are for another app.

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Hi JB, as with Panoranio and many other sites you know that one day Mapillary will we disappear…(hopefully many years from now). Hopefully they transfer all our pictures to a new service then. But just in case this will not happen I do always make backups of all my sequences. If needed and wanted I can upload all my hours of driving to another website. It will cost many hours of uploading but the driving part has already been done. So I hope you made and make backups of your millions of images also!

Let we make tomorrow a new green line again, for the mapillary and the future.