Augmented History

Superimposing historic photos on current locations is a neat way to bring history to life, using augmented reality, as the website History Pin and Museum of London demonstrate, says Engadget.

But you need to ensure it is taken from the same spot, and with the same zoom level. If you don’t, the combined picture ends up looking disjointed, with roofs, walls and roads poorly matched, explains New Scientist.

Perfectly matching current snapshots with a photo taken in the same spot a hundred years ago is an awesome idea. But it’s tricky business. Now MIT and Adobe researchers are using a technique called visual homing. The program compares your camera’s current view to known historical images.

It will give you positioning and zoom instructions so you can best match the scene, improving on the services offered by current apps like StreetMuseum and sites like History Pin.

Right now, the app runs on a laptop, but the idea is that it’ll work directly on digital cameras, letting you view the past while shooting the present.

The Portland CivicApps competition, held last week, was a contest where developers build interesting applications using open municipal data sets provided by the City of Portland.

Imagine listening to neighborhood oral history while taking the train, biking on a Radical History Tour, or traveling up the river viewing photographs from 100 years ago narrated by a Native American guide.

Google rolled out App Inventor for Android on July 12, a software development tool that lets non-geeks build applications for Android smartphones.

Posted by Sam Churchill on .

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