One of the knocks on American architecture is that we rarely ever save our old buildings. Sure, we keep major historical sites like George Washington’s house or Independence Hall, but most of our buildings are eventually torn down to make way for newer, bigger buildings. But now a new app lets you see at least one city the way it used to be, as Time Shutter San Francisco lets you spy the City by the Bay in all its former (and current) glory.
Time Shutter uses old photographs and illustrations to created detailed recreations of major SF landmarks from roughly 100 years ago. Users can then take a picture of the current structure standing at the historical site and then watch as the app combines the two images in a sort of “then and now” transition. Even better, all the historical images come with a quick history caption, so you may also learn a little something along the way. The app currently contains over 140 pics of various city landmarks, and a helpful map allows you to easily figure out which sites are in the near vicinity.
This is actually a pretty cool app that adds a new dimension to tourism. SF is a history-rich city, but if you don’t know the town well it’s easy to miss out on a lot of really neat architecture and information. This app provides a great way for kids and adults both to learn more about the city while they visit and do something other than just ride cable cars and go down to Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s even possible that some locals may enjoy the app just so they can learn more about the city in which they live.
For all of you living in other areas don’t write this app off yet just because it’s aimed at San Francisco. The team at ISL Consulting has told us they’re already working on a New York edition of the app, and we’re sure even more cities will be added as time goes on. In the meantime though, if you find yourself in the city famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Rice-a-Roni here’s a fun way to get a bit more out of your trip.