Monday, August 18th, 2008

Vintage snapshots of San Francisco pt. 2: Google-mapped

A couple days after I passed on this alert to the amazing Charles Cushman photo collection, another reader immediately saw possibilities for this carefully filed and annotated archive of our city in the ’30s, ’40s, and ’50s.

He’s created a Google map, digitally mapping over 200 of the enormous collection’s slides to their places of origin.

This looks like it must have been a TON of work, but as Dan wrote, “Richard — this wasn’t so much effort as it looks. Google maps has a geocoder which takes street intersections and turns them into GPS coordinates. I wrote a script to download the Cushman archive pages, look up the street addresses in the geocoder, and add them to the map.”

Right — it’s easy if you know how! And I suspect that slightly more energy went into this project than Dan is letting on.

Though just a bit over 10% of the 1791 images in the San Francisco portion of the archive were readily identifiable, it’s more than enough to pull you back into a visceral, three-dimensional experience of our city in the era of Kodachrome.

6 Comments » - Posted in From the community,Just plain cool,San Francisco history blog by

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Faded time capsule — vintage snapshots of San Francisco

A reader alerted me to an amazing post that just popped up over at Laughing Squid.

See the two photos below? The first comes from an online collection of vintage color snapshots of San Francisco, courtesy of an online gallery at Indiana University — it’s the intersection of South Van Ness and Army, snapped by who-knows-who back in 1953.

The second one was snapped by Todd Lappin just yesterday — and at first glance, not much has changed in the last fifty years but the trees on the Bernal Hill and the price of gas!

San Francisco, South Van Ness and Army 1953
check out the rest of the post …

7 Comments » - Posted in Just plain cool,San Francisco history blog by