July 11th marked the global launch of Historypin, a site where you can compare your own and others' photos of the present and the past - all geotagged via Google Maps technology.
The Museum of the City of New York was a great venue for the site's launch as the museum recently launched a historical online photography archive including work by notables like Jacob Riis and Bernice Abbott.
The concept of Historypin is inspired by the boxes of old photographs that most of us have in our family archives. To realize their philosophy of creating a shared history of the world, the folks at Historypin invite you to upload your own photos and other content (audio, video) captioned with your personal stories.
Photos that were taken outside are overlaid on to Google Street View, creating a virtual portal into the past - it's really quite awesome! At the launch Historypin unveiled new site functionality as well as the Historypin Android app. The iPhone app is coming in 2 weeks.
Speakers at the Historypin launch included:
- Nick Stanhope, CEO of We Are What We Do, the non-profit behind Historypin. Read Nick's inspiring opening remarks on the Google Lat Long Blog.
- Jesse Friendman, Product Marketing Manager, Google Earth & Google Maps
- Martin Luther King III, Chairman of The King Center. King shared a formal portrait of himself as a child posing with his father (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.) and his grandfather Martin Luther King, Sr.
- Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig who spoke eloquently on "the enormous value of humility", copyright law and the Creative Commons licenses that are at the core of Historypin.
What I love most about this project is that here are numerous uses for Historypin. It can be used as an educational tool in classrooms or even as a tool for genealogical research.
Nick Stanhope said it best, the most valuable aspect of Historypin is the "mass participation and mass access to culture." This kind of participation and access will allow history to unfold in its own way, never imposing a specific history.
Look for my personal collection photos taken in Cuba during a college trip in 1999, coming soon to Historypin! In the meantime, why not dig up your old photos and start your own collection?
Editor's Note: This blog post is not a paid sponsorship. Dodge & Burn genuinely endorses and supports Historypin of our own free will.
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