Virtually explore the old streets of New York City

virtually explore the old streets of new york city screen shot 2015 06 02 at 8 37 51 am
If you want to see New York as it once was, you don’t have to get yourself a time machine to do it. Software engineer Dan Vanderkam has assembled a way to visit the Big Apple’s past without the need to fire up a Delorean.

OldNYC — and the similarly constructed OldSF for west coasters — takes a map of the big city as it currently stands and plots out photos of the city dating back decades. OldNYC contains over 40,000 photos(OldSF is made up of 14,000) obtained from the New York Public library, all plotted and geolocated on the map for easy browsing and viewing.

The interactive map makes moving through the city easy, and not much different from navigating a standard Google Maps page. Except that at the stops along the way, plotted out at most street intersections, you’ll find old photos snapped years ago in approximately the same spot.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 6.07.22 PM

If you notice a picture that is out of place — perhaps because you are in fact a time traveler, or maybe just really old but with a sharp memory — you can submit feedback and corrections on the images to ensure historical accuracy. Or if you know a little bit about what is depicted in the photo, you can leave a comment to tell the story and help fill out the history of the city. There are sure to be stories that accompany the photos that can provide context and help preserve the memories.

The OldNYC and OldSF projects have been an undertaking of Vanderkam’s since 2013. The labor of love between the engineer and library staff has been a purely voluntary effort, he told CityLab. Most of the information has been gathered by optical character recognition software, which scans the photos and the typewritten notes that accompany them.


Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.