Panasonic is launching a community-based web site, Myplace through digital communications agency, Inbox Digital - a member of Digital Marketing Group.

The web site will be supported by a series of online ads - 160x600 skyscrapers and 728x90 leaderboards on major UK and Ireland portals, plus travel sites; aimed at encouraging people to click through to find out more about Myplace.

Myplace aims to further raise awareness for the award-winning Lumix range and create stronger associations between Panasonic and photography through developing an innovative, photographic web-based community.

The community allows consumers to post pictures of their favourite places in Great Britain and Ireland, share why the place is special for them and have their contribution rated by the community as well as by a pro photographer. In addition, weekly, monthly and annual competitions are on offer, with the ultimate prize being a trip to a world heritage site.

Gaele Lalahy, web and e-commerce manager at Panasonic comments, “Our vision for Lumix is to create a new photography culture for the digital era. Inbox Digital has translated that vision online in a highly engaging, interactive format that will inspire people to sign up to share evocative images of their special places, and gain recognition for them whilst discovering the Lumix collection for themselves. We believe that we are developing a community that’s unique in the web space. It offers a credible alternative and fresh focus for those that already contribute to photographic communities and will also have resonance with those that are interested in sharing, discovering and celebrating all those special places in Great Britain and Ireland”

Inbox Digital was asked to develop the concept having last year produced Panasonic’s first foray into viral activity with the successful Gyrorunner and Taxi Snapper – also aimed at promoting its Lumix digital camera range.

The agency’s brief focused around developing an interactive and accessible community concept that was inspired by Panasonic’s sponsorship of Our Place – soon to become the largest ever photographic collection of UNESCO world heritage site pictures. Using Lumix digital cameras, a team of 20 professional photographers will cover 830 World Heritage sites from 138 countries, documenting the human presence and interaction that makes them important to mankind.

On visiting the Myplace site, users can search, view and rate pictures uploaded by members and are encouraged to sign up to Myplace as well as check out the Our Place web site and the Lumix collection on the Panasonic web site.

Once signed up, members create a profile of themselves including the type of photographer they are, the kind of camera they use, the places they like to go and to see and their favourite choice of world heritage site.

Members then upload their photographs, choosing a theme for their picture and giving each picture a title and story and can pinpoint the exact location that their picture was taken on a zoomable map of Great Britain and Ireland; as well as create links to their MySpace and Facebook pages or other web spaces.

Photography can be searched by theme and category and displays the number of votes for each shot with a link to the members profile and their latest forum postings. The photographs with the highest ratings appear as points on the map. On rolling over each point a thumbnail of the picture appears and when clicked serves up an enlarged picture which the member can rate as well as view and add comments, view the profile or even see other pictures by the person who took the picture.

Each month a professional photographer from Our Place selects and comments on a ‘Pick of The Month’ photograph rated on the evocative nature of the shot and the winner receives a 10.2 megapixel Lumix DMC-LX2 camera with unique 16:9 wide CCD and full manual controllability. In addition, in ‘Photo of the Week’ as voted for by the public and using the same criteria, members can win a £75 voucher for the Lumix camera of their choice.