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Street View of Old San Francisco

Imagine 100 years into the future when history students are studying the past by looking through the 2016 version of Google Street View to see what cities looked like before they were born. Neat huh? It would be awesome if we could do that now. The project called OldSF is a start. Dan Vanderkam and Raven Keller took 13,000 digitized images from the San Francisco Library’s Historical Photograph Collection and geotagged them onto a map of the city. The photographs go back to the beginning of San Francisco (almost to the beginning of photography) and range up to as recently as 2000. You can pull down a slider from the map’s name to control the range of images by age. Then zoom in and select a black dot to see the photographs of that location in the sidebar. The screenshot here shows how many pictures are available for this area from the 19th century. Zoom in, and you can see what Market Street, West of Grant looked like in 1896.



In fact, there are quite a few images of this busy intersection before 1900. It’s a fascinating idea for anyone, but if you have ever lived in San Francisco, it may swallow your entire day. OldSF is an ongoing project, as Vanderkam and Keller estimate there are about 20,000 images that could be geotagged in the city.  -via Madam Jujujive


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