Newly-launched site SepiaTown is a wonderful Google Maps mashup that allows you to submit and browse vintage photographs by location, allowing you to “see what once stood where you now stand.” The result is a compelling, interactive window onto your favorite city’s history.
Users are encouraged to contribute photographs to expand SepiaTown’s coverage, which currently includes New York, San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Moscow, Paris, and Amsterdam.
As the SepiaTown collection comes to encompass thousands of locations throughout the globe it will allow people to interact with history and geography in a new and exciting way; to tour the landscapes, cityscapes and events of history with a scope and breadth never before possible.
My favorite feature is the “Then/Now” button, which allows you to view a historical photograph of a given location side by side with its current appearance on Google Street View. Although currently only a 2D system, with enough images (and some clever computation) one can easily envision a future version of SepiaTown allowing users to take 3D virtual strolls into the past.