“Everyone has a history to share, some of itstretching back over decades, passed down andadded to over many generations. We have seenagain and again what can be achieved whenpeople come together around their familyhistories and the history of their streets… whena whole town participates in creating a sharedcommunal history.”--Nick Stanhope (CEO of Historypin)
What Is It?• Developed by the not-for-profit We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google, Historypin is a way for people to come together, from across generations, cultures and places, to share small glimpses of the past and to build up the story of human history.• Users can upload photos, videos, audio recordings, and recollections and pin them to a date/time on the Historypin map of the world.• Over 50,000 photos, videos, audio and stories from over 20,000 users from all over the world have already been shared.• Their goal is to become the largest global archive of human history.
Next, you find it on the map(if it’s been taken outdoors)
Finally, you position it on the street view(this is just an example, as the spring house is not really on this street)
And voila!Now, visitors to the Desert of Maine 20 years from now can see if even the measuring polebecomes buried... Or someone who visited in the 1950’s can add a photo of the spring housein its unburied splendor.
Site FeaturesWatch Videos Play Audio Clips Satellite View
Historypin app• Hold your phone up to the street-- the app uses your camera view to display nearby images.• Select the image to overlay it onto the modern view and create a historical comparison.• Immediately add images from your travels to Historypin or use your phone to photograph old images and pin them to the map.• Shake the app to view a random image from around the world.
Capturing the History of a Community Case Study: Reading, UK• Whole community gathered photos and memories of the area.• Volunteers spoke with individuals and groups to capture their stories/memories.• Partnership with local museums, libraries and record offices to add to the collection.• A special Reading Museum exhibition based on the images and stories that have been pinned, running from September 2011 - January 2012.• Upcoming projects in Harlem, New York and East Palo Alto, California.
Over 100 Museum and Library Partners Smithsonian Sent a group of photographs from their archives showing the growth of the National Mall from 1865 to today. National Archives As a pilot, they posted a selection of photographs from the Womens Bureau and the Environmental Protection Agency covering a range of subjects documented in the work of the United States government. Museum of the City of New York They added about 1,500 photos from their 50,000-picture online archive. Others Include PhillyHistory.org, the New York Public Library, the Dallas Public Library, Boston Public Library, and the Los Angeles Public Library.
Brooklyn Museum Mystery Photos Museum employees noticed a deficit of Brooklyn images on Historypin. They had archives of over 3,500 late 19th century images, many of which were unidentified. “We couldn’t get a team to sit here and catalog this, with this variety of knowledge, in a million years,” Deborah Wythe, head of digital collections. Historypin posted the images on Flickr Commons– more than half have now been identified and pinned.
Just a few applications for your libraryFrom Nick Stanhope (CEO, Historypin)There was one particularly inspiring event recently at a school in a bit of Essex called Billericay.They invited older people from within the community ,and students interviewed them about theirphotographs, filmed and recorded their stories and made comparisons between what the arealooked like then and now. It became obvious to us how these small, lovely examples can becomereplicated over and over again.From Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web ContributorWhat if I got a handful of teens interested in photography, a few digital cameras or iPodtouches, and we had a program where we headed out into the city for a half hour taking pictures.We could then come back into the library and, using the library’s wifi and the Historypinapp, upload the photos and catalog our city at that moment in time.Say that your library has an extensive local history collection. Wouldn’t it be great to mobilizesome volunteers to digitize photos and upload them to Historypin? The library could even partnerwith local tourism organizations to give people with mobile phones a walking history tour of thecity.
POTENTIAL DRAWBACKS• User Interface is somewhat clunky and not all features are straightforward to use.• Some patrons may need training.• Not all patrons will have access to the internet at home, so terminals in the library will have to be provided.• Copyright issues are a concern, though Historypin does allow institutions to choose what copyright options to offer when they add material.
OUTWEIGHED BY THE BENEFITS• Perfect for building community, especially in small public libraries.• Make your content available for people to interact with in new ways.• Start conversations shared between people who perhaps didn’t think that had anything in common.• Enable students/teachers from around the world to explore content.• Use crowdsourcing to aid you with unidentified images.• Create tours of your library, or of your community.• Possibly even earn new income from your collection through a opt-in digital-to-print service for users (starting in 2012).