Smartphone applications: What is History Pin?


History Pin is a digital, user-generated archive of historical photos, videos, audio recordings and personal recollections from people and communities throughout the world. Users are able to use the location and date of their content to “pin” it to Google Maps and where Google Street View is available, they are able to overlay historical photographs and compare it with the contemporary location. (Street Viewed Photo)

This content can be added and explored online and via a series of Smartphone applications available on Android, iOS and Windows platforms. The apps have the following capability:
• Able to access 1000s of images and allows the user to browse by date and location, using the current location to find the nearest content, or exploring remotely.
• The ‘Explore the streets’ feature allows the user to hold the smartphone or tablet up in the street which it then uses the camera view to display nearby historical or heritage related images. By selecting the image, it can be overlaid onto the modern view to create an historical comparison, which the user can toggle or fade between.
• Access all stories and recollections that have been shared on the website
• Capture a modern moment of history – images taken with the app can be immediately pinned to the Historypin map, with any titles and stories added. Images can also be added from the smartphone’s library.
• Digitise an old photo – take photos of old pictures as an easy alternative to scanning them, then add photo details and pin them directly to the Historypin map.
• Take modern equivalents of old classics – when exploring historic content, users can capture exact contemporary replicas
• Browse Collections from anywhere – users can explore selected Collections from
• Shake history up – a simple shake of the app generates a random piece of content from anywhere in the world

History pin also allows communities to create their own themed heritage projects, tours, trails and historical collections.

There is a wealth of examples on including case studies from other towns interpreting their heritage including:
Stoke and Trent pottery heritage trail
Witness the Past in Modern Day Washington
Stoke Newington’s ‘Ghostsigns’
The Battle of Hampton Rocks
For a brief introductory video to History Pin, see:


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