This may sound like a strange request but it's something I've been mulling over for quite some time. Is there a way to susbstitutue my Google navigation maps, on my iPhone or tablet, with an aerial photo from this site?
I'd like to display how our roads and highways have replaced so many farms and estates in real time as one drives on any road. In New England, so many farms and fertile fields have become housing developments, parking lots, and shopping centers and I'd like to show children and students, with realtime navigation, what the countryside used to look like before the interstate highway system was built.
It would be a neat experience to drive by a shopping plaza as the navigation application displays a 1953 aerial which shows that a farm had once occupied that location. I often take the Massachusetts turnpike and witness so many old stone walls and abandoned roads which the interstate highway bisected. If my navigation software could display a moving historic aerial instead of the contemporary one it would help illustrate the changes that have taken place. It would be like visiting the past as you drive around in you vehicle.
At this time that's not a feature that we have on the site. We are however working on a mobile friendly version of Historic Aerials. What you're saying is an interesting idea, and something we can take into consideration. I think the mobile version of the site will be of some help though. You can allow for your location to be detected and you would be able to pull up your current location, then view each historic year available in that spot. You wouldn't have directions or a dot like you do in your maps/navigation app, but it would at least provide you the ability to look at your location with the historic images and maps. I'm not sure of the exact timeframe for the release of a moble friendly version of the site, but it should be coming in the not too distant future.
That sounds like a terrific start. In the future, I would imagine someone will merge old streetscape photographs with your old aerials and create a virtual world to the past. Imagine wearing a VR system and driving down Broadway NYC in 1938! So as technology improves, and your hard work to create a seamless map of the past, and everyone digitizing old photographs and film, we'll be closer to the past than ever.
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