Historypin: Piecing Together the Story
In the pre-production phase of film making, art designers and sketch artists, sometimes even directors themselves, will plan a sequence of shots in a storyboard: a visual thread of images – rather like a cartoon strip – that piece by piece builds the narrative and gives movement and meaning to the unfolding story. The detail of each frame is carefully designed, the order skillfully sewn together, that we as the audience might inhabit that world and feel ourselves a part of it.
Images can work on our emotions and imaginations powerfully. Whenever we are confronted with an image whose history is unknown to us, we naturally feel curious about the hidden story, instinctively understanding that such moments are merely a pause in a wider series of tales with pasts and futures that we can only guess at. Storytelling is an integral part of being human.We make sense of life by creating our own storyboards – our memories edited together – each series of selected moments a montage that gives meaning and substance to our sense of ourself and our place in space and time.
A good friend has been involved in setting up a wonderful project that encourages this bringing together of seemingly separate and disconnected images in order to build a greater picture and a deeper understanding of what it means to be human. The site is called Historypin and it is a fantastic and ever-expanding resource of social and personal history through the medium of photography and story. It is mapped in a way that also helps us to make connections across decades, building a complex web of place, story, and movement through time. Here is how the site explains its purpose:
What is Historypin all about?
Historypin is a online tool that acts as a digital time machine, allowing people to view and share history in a totally new way.
Using Google Maps and Street View technology, Historypin aims to become the largest user-generated archive of the world’s historical images and stories.
The site invites the public to dig out, upload and pin their own old photos, as well as the stories behind them, onto the Historypin map. Uniquely, Historypin allows users to layer their old images onto modern Street View scenes, revealing a series of windows into the past.
Historypin is a global project. It was launched in London in June 2010 and in the next few years there will be events and projects held all over the world over.
If you would like to learn more or even download your own photos and stories please visit the site here: http://www.historypin.com/
Here is a short introductory film to start you off…