WhatWasThere Displays Historic Photos Near You (but needs a lot more photos)

There are some apps that are only good for you if when used in areas where a critical mass of users has emerged. I suspect this is one of them:


Here’s the two sentence description for the app: After launch, the app will detect where you are and show you any historic photographs that were captured nearby plotted on a map! Switch into Camera view for an augmented reality experience of the history that surrounds you! The public can submit photos to WhatWasThere’s collection via their website.

The few (ten) people who have provided customer ratings appear to be reasonably enthusiastic about the app as described. Six of the ten gave it the full 5-star maximum possible rating. One gave it a 2-star rating and three gave it a 1-star rating. One wonder if the four people who gave the app low ratings used it in areas where no data is available. A check on WhatWasThere’s website confirms that there are not any photos for my area.

WhatWasThere is obviously a reasonably new startup with a relatively small dataset. Chicago has the most photos associated with any single city. But, its 802 photos is relatively small for a city of its size. Washington D.C., a historic city in every sense, only has 132 photos associated with it.

WhatWasThere seems like an app with a lot of potential. But, it needs some kind of data kick start to make it interesting.

Via The New York Times: Bringing Past, Present and Future Into Focus