I got up this morning and looked out the window to a day that looked a little damp but was still filled with the promise of completing those jobs, of getting things done. But then I found Historypin and now I can’t even remember what those inconsequential plans were for today!

Do you ever find something really good and wonder if you’re the only person who didn’t know about it? That’s how I feel right now. I’m thinking to myself, if this thing is so good, how come I haven’t come across it before now? So, honestly, I’ve decided that as we’re now into our second day of National Family History Week, it’s my solemn duty to fully investigate this potential new avenue for family historians and post about it so that others may find it too. Well, that’s my excuse for not getting anything else done this morning and I’m sticking to it!

So what is Historypin exactly? Well, it’s an interactive map of the world that people and organisations are pinning pictures and audio and video files to. You can search for a particular place or you can browse, and that’s probably where you’ll get into trouble. I started looking at a picture of people dressed in fancy dress in 1908 in a  Koo Wee Rup farmyard, hopped over to Berwick and looked at the last plane to leave Casey Airfield in 1994, detoured to St. Arnaud c1895 to two men digging a dam with a woman watching in the background. After I while I ended up at Clifton’s Shop c1890s in High Street, West Bromich, took a quick trip to see the John Heath monument in St Giles’ Church in Durham and headed for Main Street, Cowie (near Bannockburn) in the early 1900s.

And I’ve got to tell the truth and say that that’s not all, as a song once said “I’ve been everywhere man” and I’m exhausted!

This short video from Youtube explains it (sort of) in 90 seconds. Click on the arrow to make it play.

More is written about Historypin on the Bright Ideas blog, their guide to Historypin is well worth a look.

But, you will just have to be brave and jump right in – Historypin – if we don’t hear from you in a couple of days we’ll send out a search party.


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