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Turning your iPhone into a pocket, photographic time machine! Snapture enables iPhone users to explore the historical civic photo archives of your current location. As well as this iPhone application, the project includes a ‘backoffice’ application which crowdsources the geotagging of a historical photo archive, using a community of volunteers, recruited via Mechanical Turk.

Snapture is a collaboration between Leeds Met University and the City of Leeds’ Leodis photo archive, specifically targetting the city’s tourists and residents, though the architecture is adaptable to any city and any photo archive.

Here’s how it works…

  • You’re walking through Leeds city centre and pull out your lovely new iPhone 3G.
  • You load up the ‘Snapture’ application recommended to you by a friend.
  • Snapture asks you to take a photo of anything in your vicinity.
  • Snapture then shows you Leodis photographs of your location, enabling you to ‘time travel’ and see what the area looked like in times past.
  • Snapture also shows you contemporary pictures of your current location drawn from Flickr.
  • Snapture can also look to see if there’s anything else of interest around you – events, special offers, stores and even your friends.
  • Working with the city’s planning office, Snapture can also show you what your location will look like in the future.

The idea is based on the notion of a blind camera that doesn’t capture an image, but captures your location and time in order to find photographs others have taken…coupled with Leodis, this adds a playful temporal dimension and a strong link to the city’s civic heritage and its future.

Photo of Mohsin Ali

Mohsin Ali

Carbon Imagineering

I’m an Arabian, American, Pakistani, Brit 3rd culture student. Born and raised in Dhahran Aramco, Saudi Arabia and schooled in the United Kingdom. Currently enrolled in my final year in BSc Computing in Leeds and reside in the beautiful town of Harrogate in England’s North Yorkshire.

Interested in technology and enthusiastically watched the industry change from a young age, from all aspects of web and gaming technologies. I was a research and developer for a consultancy firm for three years in the Greater London area. Enjoy tinkering and experimenting with social softwares, networks, servers and open source technology.

I’m an amateur designer,artist and photographer, avid gamer and recent graphic novel fanatic. I read, write, blog, twitter and enjoy the web industry to it’s fullest and ever changing capacity.

mohsin .blog