A participative time machine

I stumbled into this project and am very intrigued.  It’s based upon mapping which is always a real starter for me.

I think that we’re all very comfortable with today’s mapping tools.  You pick your favourite mapping program and head off to different locations to see the maps and, in some cases, images of the current location whether it be individual photos or stitched together with a technique like that used in Google Streetview.  In this case, the mapping tool is Cesium.

I find it always humbling to think of how this works and the accuracy with GPS at the back end pulling it all together.  It’s hard to believe, given what we accept as normal, but there was a time when great pictures where taken but long before GPS was around to lay the images exactly where they need to be.

The smapshot project attempts to dig back, way back.

Using a storage of older pictures from Switzerland, this project is an attempt to put them into position using a tool designed for this project.

smapshot uses archive images to build a virtual globe of the past. Images go back to the end of the 19th century with a very high resolution. A tool was developped to allows volunteers to align the images with the virtual globe. smapshot is a project of the HEIG-VD. It is supported by the Hasler fundation and the Migros cultural per-cent. It was tested with the Perrochet collection from the Archives de la Construction Moderne de l’EPFL, it is yet open to other collections.

It’s an interesting bringing together of old black and white images and modern colour with the tool allowing contributors to overlay today’s images with those from the past.

Screenshot 2018-05-16 at 16.01.48

I freely admit that I’m way out of my element in understanding the pinpoint details although I think I understand the project from a big picture perspective.

Regardless, it was interesting to poke around and see just what work has been done to date.  I just wish I had a background in Switzerland to really understand.  I did spend extended periods of time exploring Zug.  It was a wonderful comparison between the old and the new.

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