The augmented reality that Historypin creates has brought me endless hours of entertainment. The premise is simple. Type a place or address into the search window and peer into the past. Depending on those that have come before you, there is a chance an old photo may appear superimposed onto the present.
I first gave it a try by typing my home address into the matrix. I felt my chances were good knowing that my neighborhood, HUTHOH (Hoboken-Uptown-On-the-Hill), was not only the first to be settled in the area, but settled by the tech industry (Stevens Institute of Technology, est. 1870). Sure enough, I was treated with some true ghosts of the past:
I continued walking down the block. Of course I had to stop at the park to check out Marlon Brando organizing local dockworkers. Now if I can only find Sinatra in the street playing stickball, I can call it a day. My neighborhood is so boring now.
My user experience was five stars. Now it was time to pay it forward by uploading and placing some pictures of my own. This is when my picture perfect party ended. First, I admit that I do not bring patience or even a sense of direction to the table. It was difficult to find where my picture belonged and that was with having both the address and which way the photographer was facing. I relate the experience to putting together some sort of virtual reality jigsaw puzzle. This handcrafted nature of photo placement was not the worst part. In time, I think I can master that aspect. I do think I can pin some blame on the sites development team. There was a certain jankyness to the process, with certain functionalities working only when they wanted to, and others not at all. Sometimes the map disappears or brings you to London. In this case, it was definitely more fun being a consumer than a producer. To have an interface riddled with bugs can kill a site that counts on users for their content.