Travel Through Time With This Flux Capacitor Of An App

Travel Through Time With This Flux Capacitor Of An App

Ever wanted to check out the ghost of your city past? Interested in experiencing the history of the spaces around you? Well, you just may be able to do that with this free app from Enlighten Ventures, LLC.

WhatWasThere is an augmented reality app that figures out where you are using your iPhone and shows you any photos of historic significance, plotted on a map of the location you’re at. Talk about time travel! Tap on the map and enlarge the photo to full screen mode to use a dynamic fader feature. Ghost out the historic photo and aim at the exact spot from the past in the present, and you’ve got a pretty slick way of adding to your daily walks.

The app also provides source info about the photo and a website to contribute to current photos – since they’ll soon be the past! And all this without any gigawatts or DeLoreans needed.

You can also browse through currently contributed photos on the website, which works a lot like the Maps app or online map service you’re used to. It’s tons of fun to click through to nearby photos and see what’s been added by locals. The number of photos at any given site will depend on the population and number of photographers adding to the system, of course. For example, there are only 25 photos in my current town of Anchorage, AK, but 257 in the San Francisco area, home to Cult of Mac.

Be sure to let us know what you think of the app in the comments below. We’ll see you in the past!

  • STLtechtalk

    Since I do not have an iPhone, I could only look at the website.  I love the idea and hope it catches on so that more areas have photos shared for them.

  • joewaylo

    Only problem I see about this app is how many people actually contribute what Washington, DC looked like back in the 1800s in living color. Nor how some cities looked like when they haven’t existed yet back that far.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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