Google Maps History View

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I’ve long enjoyed using Google Maps’ street view to peruse memories as well as places. Walk the streets in Italy from my college study abroad, finding the amazing restaurants I can remember by sight but not by name. When I feel like a real nostalgia bomb I dial up my old house. It’s hard to see the house I grew up in and the foolhardy tree trimming that’s resulted in sun damage (hey, that’s my climbing tree!). I wish there were a way to dial back to see what it looked like when I was there. But, really, how long will it be before Google has this ability? They’re already diligently documenting and re-documenting major metropolitan areas in order to be current with the ever changing street scape. They surely keep the old images. They must have 4 or 5 years of images for New York City, and that’s enough time for the city to look as foreign as my 20 year distant childhood home.

I thought I’d help them out by showing what I want, though it’s exaggerated by my use of the excellent Shorpy archive:

Update: Google Earth has a time slider very similar to the one I imagined above available for historic satellite imagery. It’s only available in the stand alone app, not the web version, but has some fascinating glimpses into history, including before and after 9/11.

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