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HistoryPin: How the World Once Was

These days, technology is all about accessing the future and moving forward in a way that neglects the past. A new app called HistoryPin gives…

HistoryPin Logo

These days, technology is all about accessing the future and moving forward in a way that neglects the past. A new app called HistoryPin gives us a way to rediscover our history in the most advanced way possible.

Introducing HistoryPin

HistoryPin is a crowd sourced platform that stores and organizes historical photographs from users and databases in order to create a collective history scrapbook of sorts. As Zach Sniderman for Mashable reports, "Historypin has already partnered with national libraries and museums that house massive stores of historical photographs. This provides a base of content, but the site is meant to be a crowdsourced affair. Anybody can submit a photo to the site, along with comments or stories about the people and places in their shots. That element of collective storytelling is the real goal of Historypin..."


One of the coolest features, as Sniderman writes, is the mobile "augmented reality tab where users can hold up their phones to see older images of their current location." The street view online also allows us to see pictures that have been overlayed on top of their existing locations.

Reconnect with Your Own Past

According to HistoryPin's explainer video, users can "explore the world's history, and add a piece of [their] own." HistoryPin allows us to upload and geotag photos at any location. It requires some work on our part, but the site is easy to navigate and instructions are available. To see if there are photos already tagged at a certain site, just enter a place name or address and the Google-powered Map will prompt you with the exact location. As Sniderman reports, HistoryPin also plans to "start including audio and video submissions to capture even more moments, such as the audio from a Jimi Hendrix concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969, or a video of a protest in Trafalgar Square, which can be played over current images and street views." It's not hard to see the potential for this kind of tool to become very powerful.



HistoryPin is a breath of fresh air in a business-first, commercial tech industry. In the future, archivists, historians, and genealogists may be able to use this tool to revolutionize the study of our past. For now let's just hope that we as members of the online community will contribute part of our own histories to create a truly collective archive of human history.

Images via HistoryPin

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