Do you have a family photograph showing Main Street in your home town? Upload it to Historypin. Do you have an old postcard with a similar view? If so, upload that to Historypin, too. If tens of thousands of people upload old photographs and postcards, the collection becomes far more valuable to historians, genealogists, and others. You can also write the stories that are behind each photograph that you upload, stories that will be available to others. Historypin lets you layer old images onto modern Google Street View scenes, giving a series of peeks into the past.
The site is rather new, and a "beta" label is prominently displayed. In other words, the developers are still debugging the site. However, when I used it, I didn't encounter any problems.
Quoting from the Historypin web site:
Different generations are spending a lot less time together than they used to: In the 50s, 40% of elderly people lived with their children, now just 10% do. And whilst 6.4 million people over 65 don't use the internet, 90% of communication amongst 11-18 year olds is digital. In fact two thirds of Britons think that old and young people live in separate worlds.Historypin is a really especially useful in schools. Students could collect photos showing the history of their own local area to share with partner schools via Historypin. They could pose and respond to challenges and questions from partner schools to find the oldest photo, to discover which locality has undergone the most change, and to find features of geographic and historical interest. To get you started, Historypin suggests:
Which is a shame. As old people know stuff young people don't. And young people know stuff old people don't.
Historypin virtually requires you to spend time with someone from a different generation: young people need older people for the photos, and older people need young people to explain when to click and when to double click.
Historypin is a global project. It was launched in London in June 2010 and we'll be visiting countries all over the world over the next few years to promote it.
- Explore the map: Use these ideas for 'Exploring photos' to investigate the power of old photos and the stories behind them.
- Pin your history: Get your students involved in exploring oral history and storytelling with this ‘Gathering information to tell the story behind a photo’ template. Refer to these ‘Teachers’ notes’ for more information. Students can then pin their photos and their stories on the map.
Historypin has been funded by Google and contains no advertising at all. Use of the site is free to everyone.
This is your opportunity to help preserve a piece of visual or oral history that might otherwise be lost one day.
You can watch a short video that describes Historypin at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdT3eKdto4w or click on the image below:
Historypin may be found at http://www.historypin.com
My thanks to Laura Prescott for telling me about Historypin.