Tuesday November 2, 2010

Time travelling across town

Adding a fourth dimension – time – to photos affords a powerful connection with a place’s past. And the internet allows for new interpretations of ‘then and now’…

In Google Earth, for example, you can move back and forth in time to reveal imagery from years past. See the World Trade Center site in New York, for example. Microsoft’s Photosynth stitches together everybody’s photos of, say, Notre Dame in Paris to create a view that could conceivably reveal changes to streetscapes over month, years and decades (see Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth). Paul Hagon from the National Library of Australia has pioneered locating historic photos held by libraries and museums on a map, using Google Streetview to reveal the contemporary view.

Last week, our friend Wal Pilz pointed us to Seb Chan’s blog post where he tells how SepiaTown have meticulously mapped photos from the Powerhouse Museum’s collection – many of which are of Sydney, and some of Mosman – into their ‘virtual past’ browser.

Try these (click the link “then/now” to get the contemporary Streetview image):

One thing you notice is how many harbour views are now hidden, by houses and trees. When these photos were taken, suburbs like Mosman were being divided into lots for property development and the land was stripped of trees.

Also, it’s a pity Google Streetview can’t go off-road for comparison views of Clifton Gardens!

Update: see the SepiaTown blog for more ‘then & now’ examples.

— Posted by Mosman Library in  |  Permalink





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