HistoryPin <http://www.historypin.com/> is a way to connect with the past. It takes Flickr to the next level by contextualizing photos with a time an place and makes historical photos accessible to everyone. It is free and easy to use; all you need is a Google account.
As this short movie shows, users provide the photos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdT3eKdto4w&feature=player_embedded
On the site, photos from 1840 to the present are “pinned” to a global map. Most of these are exterior shots. As this website develops, it could become invaluable for understanding how things were, seeing how things have changed, and making comparisons. It could be shared among family members, used by schools for research and school projects, and offer an avenue for preserving photos that might otherwise be damaged, lost, or discarded.
Users can “explore the map,” look at “popular pics,” or search for a particular place. A user can see the current look of a place by using the street view on Google Maps, then overlay it with the photo from the past. Users can upload their own historical photos to the HistoryPin website and add a story or description of the photo. The site allows viewers to “dispute it,” to explain why a photo or description is inaccurate. In addition, photos can be shared through Facebook, Bebo, MySpace, Twitter, Del.icio.us, and Diggo; they can also be emailed.
HistoryPin is created by We Are What We Do and Google. We Are What We Do is a London-based organization creating “stuff that makes it easier for people to do small, good things everyday.” They work with schools, communities and businesses to create projects that connect people and get them doing things. To learn more, see: http://www.wearewhatwedo.org/about_us/