Sometimes I go past an old looking building or see some traces of old signage on a store and wonder what they used to be, especially when those traces are hard to read or obscured.

  • Andy@slrpnk.net
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    1 month ago

    I have good news: It exists! http://retrographer.org/

    A lot of them are unrecognizable, but here’s an example of a good one: http://retrographer.org/photos/4215

    The bad news is that’s a bit limited. It was the senior project of a CMU student in 2010. It only exists for Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. If you wanted to make one for another city, though, I think you could contact the creator, ask for the code, and then recruit people to get a ton of photos from another city’s historical institutions, and then crowdsource geotagging them (which is what the guy did).

    http://retrographer.org/learnMore

    • treadful@lemmy.zip
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      1 month ago

      Isn’t it? I get peoples photos occasionally in place of Street View for certain locations.

    • BearOfaTime@lemm.ee
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      1 month ago

      Doesn’t Maps or Google Earth have a time-line for places now? Thought it started 4 or 5 years ago, so it’s not everywhere yet.

      Though I think that’s just fairly recent images and such. Maybe it permits us submitting really old info/photos?

      You could probably set this up on a shared map, getting people to help/contribute/not be a troll would be the challenge.

      • TheWeirdestCunt@lemm.ee
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        1 month ago

        The desktop version of Earth has had it since the early 2010s if not earlier, I remember messing around with it while being taught how to use the measuring tools in a geography lesson, tbf that’s only for maps though not street view

      • 200ok@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Yep, when in street view you can look at old street views. It’ll be cool in 20 years when the changes will be more apparent

      • Lost_My_Mind@lemmy.world
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        1 month ago

        Out of all the things to be a troll with…this one just seems too niche to be fun. Maybe I’d be wrong as the feature got more popular. I could see someone making a photoshop of the road layout being a penis. But until theres a sizeable userbase to see it, I don’t see it being worth the effort for them.

      • Solinus 🌿@lemmy.cafeOP
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        1 month ago

        Thay’s what I was thinking. Google maps/street view only goes back to the late 00s, but I’d like to go back as far as the early 20th century if not earlier

  • Chozo@fedia.io
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    1 month ago

    That sounds really fun! I feel like this is a very geocaching-adjacent idea; the geocaching community might be a good place to bounce ideas around to get a project like this started.

  • reddig33@lemmy.world
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    1 month ago

    If I remember correctly, Microsoft experimented with something like this years ago. I tried to find a link but no luck. As I recall it focused on stitching together user-uploaded photos to create a panoramic view of a location over time.

  • Rhaedas@fedia.io
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    1 month ago

    I know you’re asking for a single place to go, which isn’t going to happen until “modern” places that were captured by Google and the like turn into the old places. Sometimes you can dig into old archives and find pieces of things that were digitized. Put enough of them together and you might get some answers. It’s difficult and very regional dependent on what was done over the decades. Just finding an online copy of old highway maps is a challenge, and I figured that would be easy. But if you can find some sources, it’s fascinating to try and overlay old and new and see just how much has (and hasn’t) changed. I’ve found old roads in my area that were cut up by newer and by lots of development, but are still there, just not connected in the same way.