Users can enhance their pins with descriptions and stories, and compile them into collections and tours centered around a place, time or storyline.
Visit the National Archives on Historypin here. I scrolled down and clicked an image of Samuel Morse’s 1848 patent for the electromagnetic telegraph, which opened information about the patent:
Here’s the patent on a map of Washington, DC, at the location of the old Patent Office:
Another cool thing you can do is use a transparency slider to overlay a historical image on top of a Google street view of the same scene today. This shows a view from the old Patent Office toward the Treasury building:
Also in NARA’s collection, you’ll find Mathew Brady Civil War photographs; photos of streets, buildings and historic events in Washington, DC; and images from the recently concluded History Happens Here augmented reality contest. Future additions will include Documerica images, more Mathew Brady, and Brooklyn Navy Yard photos collections.
Go here and type in a place your ancestors lived to see what’s pinned there. You don’t have to join Historypin to see the pins, but if you join, you can add your own images (you’ll need a free Google account).
Historypin is also accessible via a Smartphone app. It’s a project of the British non-profit We Are What We Do that seeks to bring generations together around the history of their communities.
Here are images Historypin users have pinned around Cincinnati, where Family Tree Magazine is located. Once I get started exploring these, I’m not sure how I’ll stop myself: