App of the Week: Historypin


Title: Historypin
Cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android

“Pin your history ot the world” is the slogan of this really robust attempt at immersive augmented reality. The app allows users to submit images and associate them with a specific location, linking physical places with past events for a searchable, world-wide database of place-based photographs, accessible through a place-based browser.

The app offers historical images as transparent layers so you can superimpose a current-day view of the same scene (from your camera or saved images) to highlight contrasts over time. Since the images are crowd-sourced, there is a mish-mash of public and personal histories, and contributions in particular areas are dependant on active pinners.

The maps for the U.K. are particularly rich, and a current projest is looking for Queen’s visits and Jubilee celebrations. Another interesting feature of the browser-based site highlights interesting items from the collections and there are a number of mechanisms for searching by location. Historypin uses Google Maps (including Street View) for geographic data and unified Google sign-in to create an account.


Not only is Historypin a wonderful way for teens to explore the world, it offers a fabulous opportunity for them to add their own local and personal histories to a global project.

For more information on great resources for teens and the librarians who serve them, see the App of the Week archive.

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