We’ve taken a look at a couple of fascinating websites that let users tour their city’s history through historic photos or overlaid maps from 1600 to present day, but a new app is trying to reach a similar goal on your mobile phone in real time. Pivot is an augmented reality app that alerts users when they’re near a “pivot point,” at which time they can raise their phones and see pictures and videos of what that exact location looked like in the past. The app’s creators hope this will become a historical preservation platform.
Boston-based Asma Jaber and her fiancé Sami Jitan decided to create Pivot for very personal reasons. Jaber’s Palestinian father lived in Nazareth and, later, in a village north of Ramallah during a time of great conflict. After arriving in South Carolina in 1971 and starting a family, he’d tell Asma about his childhood, determined to preserve his home in his family’s imagination. When her father died last year, Asma felt compelled to devise a way for people to preserve their homes’ history.
Pivot plans to use open-source archives and crowd-sourced multimedia, which will be vetted for accuracy and linked to a specific GPS coordinate. The strategic team is developing a “shoe-box archiving” system that will mobilize communities to “to scan old photographs and interview the older generation to which those pictures belong, so that the images will not be forgotten or go on without context.”
The app hopes to launch with pivot points in the West Bank and Boston, then add world tourist spots like Paris and New York, as well as regions in danger of losing their history like Iraq and Syria. Pivot won an entrepreneurship contest at the Harvard Innovation Lab last year and is currently raising funds for development on Kickstarter, though it’s already exceeded its $30,000 goal.
- Website “WhatWasThere” Lets Users Tour Their Neighborhoods Through Historic Photos
- NYC Time Machine Lets Users Navigate Overlaid Maps from 1600 to Present Day
- New App Lets Users Send 20th Century Postcards with a Then-and-Now Feature
- Swipe Left or Right? There’s Now a Tinder for Architecture
Images and video via Pivot