How to see images of the past
1 Start your search
Browse to historypin.org and click the ‘Explore Historypin’ link at the top of the page. A map of downtown San Francisco will appear on the left, with several featured (but unrelated) collections appearing on the right. A search bar allows you to search by keyword or collection.
2 Search by place
First click ‘Expand Map’ so that it fills the screen. Now use the ‘Search by Place’ box inside the map to narrow your search to a specific area. As you type the name of a town or street suggestions should appear. Click one to jump to that spot.
3 Browse the map
The map displays ‘hotspots’ indicating the number of photos in specific locations. Click a hotspot to zoom into that part of the map or expand it to show its individual pictures, displayed as black speech bubbles – each one indicating a specific photo that’s been posted at that location.
4 View collections
Click the ‘Expand Gallery’ button at the bottom right to view related collections and tours for the area you’re in. Keep scrolling down and individual pins for the area will show up too – click one to view it (click ‘Expand Gallery’ again to hide the map for a wider view).
5 Preview photos
Alternatively click pin, collection and tour icons on the map to view them. If they’ve been positioned on the bird’s-eye view, you’ll see them overlaying the current photo of that location from Google Street View – use the transparency slider at the top to blend old and modern scenes.
6 View details
Click the ‘i’ button beneath a pin to view information about it, including a caption or description, dates, tagged keywords and the person who posted it. Use the buttons on the right to share a link to it or – if you’re logged in – mark it as a favourite.
7 Post comments
If you’re logged in, you can also post comments on the pin. Perhaps you’ve got your own story to tell – your ancestor may be in the photograph, for example – or you’d like to provide some additional information. If suggesting a correction, remember to be polite.
8 Go on a tour
Tours are different to collections, as they consist of a series of pins placed in a specific order. Look out for the pink signpost – click one and you’ll be able to run a slide show of pins. Make use of the map on the right to zoom in and see where each pin sits in relation to the previous one.