How to find photos of ancestral places using the free Historypin site.
Genealogists know that where is almost as important as when in tracing ancestors’ lives. Historypin
is a free website from the British nonprofit We Are What We Do that combines geography and history to put the past on the map. You can search photos—more than 70,000 at last count—posted by users and drawn from collections such as the Library of Congress and US National Archives. Your search can combine places, topics (streetcars, say, or parades) and a date range. Results are plotted on a map powered by Google Maps, which you can use to compare old photos with a street view of how those locations look today. Apps for iPhone and Android even let you explore the past of places you visit, while you’re there.
You don’t have to register to view images in Historypin, but free registration and a Google Gmail account are required to upload your own photos and create tours and collections of pictures. Simply click the Join link on any page, then pick a user name, check your preferences, and you’re ready to contribute to Historypin.