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: Historypin - An introduction & how we can use it.  ( 3493 )


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Historypin - An introduction & how we can use it.
« : April 11, 2013, 04:12:06 PM »
Hello again (!),

Most of you will be aware that Historypin held a 'train the trainers' session at the University of Hertfordshire a couple of weeks ago.  The aim of that session was to teach us how to use Historypin in order that we can then spread the word and help others to use it also.

"What is Historypin?" I hear some of you ask...
Historypin is a website that allows you (a user) to put a picture on a map.  The clever bit is that it that you can then give it a bit of history, such as the circumstances surrounding the photo or subject of the photo and of course, most important, add a date when the photo was taken.  The idea is that over time, an accumulation of photos of one place will occur which will then enable people to view that one place and how it has evolved over time.  For instance, you might look up Oxford Street in London and see that it has many photos from similar angles taken over many decades, making it plain and easy to see the changes that have accompanied time.

"Why does Historypin concern us?"
Our project about Smallford Station already has several photographs taken throughout the years of the station at various times, e.g. whilst still in use, to after the tracks were taken up and most recently as a ruined platform along the Alban Way.  Historypin is a good tool which allows us to 'pin' photos to a [Google] map and, as aforementioned, add a date to each photo.

"You've mentioned a lot about photos, what about pre-photography imagery?"
Historypin was based upon photography, primarily with the advent of mainstream consumer cameras being readily available in the last century.  As such, the website currently caters best for actual photographs of places.  However, there is no reason why you can't pin an old painting to the map, from the age before photography.  Unfortunately, at the time of writing this, the timeline only goes as far back as 1840 but this is set to change.  Likewise being able to overlay old maps is something the Historypin team are working and may become a future possibility at a later date.

"How do I pin something?"
This is probably best answered on the Historypin website rather than me explaining it here, but in short you upload a photo/file/picture/image to Historypin.  Once uploaded, you are then prompted to complete some information about it, such as give it a title, a description, any copyright information etc.  Finally, you are asked to pin it to a map.  You can search for a place or simply drag the map until you find what you're looking for.  As it is based on Google maps, it works in the same way with the same controls, the only difference is you need to drag the little photo pin to the place you want it to be.

"Anything else?"
In short, yes.  There are a few other things that Historypin can do such as it enables you to overlay an old photo over a google street view image, making old streets almost come to life, given enough old photos from the same date.  The best examples of this are usually in places like a grand event in a city where there would have been tonnes of photos taken from every angle on the same/similar dates.  Resultingly, this allows Historypin to act a bit like a historic Google Streetview, from a time long before Streetview existed.

If anybody would like more information about Historypin or how to use it, please don't hesitate to ask!

You can see the Smallford Historypin on our website here:  http://smallford.org/history-map/

If you have photos you would like to get onto the Smallford Historypin, please PM me via this forum (under my username to the left) or "contact us" via the Smallford.org website and I will do my best to help.