HistorypinWhen you look at places on Google Maps and get a feel for the surroundings using Street View, you’re getting a sense of what the area is like now, but what was it like many years ago? What stories are attached to those locations that can live on forever? Taking a look at the past helps us to get a good understanding of the future, and not only that, but it can also be interesting and entertaining. Historypin enables you to pin your history to the world and see what others have posted about events and stories throughout the passage of time.

Maybe the town where you grew up has a colorful history that the old timers around you are always talking about. They’ll tell you how “this old building [the one that’s now a flower shop] used to be a speakeasy during Prohibition” or “this whole bustling town square was once orange groves as far as the eye could see.”

Historypin is offered in partnership with Google, so Google’s mapping tools are used to make all of this possible. You can explore the map by searching for pictures that are pinned to specific locations and use the slider to select the period of time that you want to explore. You can also add pictures to the map and write stories about them for the benefit of the viewers. This can be a great educational experience, and schools are encouraged to give it a try.

Since there are so many photos of past and present being shared by hundreds of fellow time travelers across the whole globe, you may find that Historypin’s system loads a little slowly at first. But if you’re willing to wait a hundred years to see how your hometown’s changed through the magic of photography, you can probably afford to be a little patient, no?