App Provides Pocket Time Capsule




This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Larry Greenemeier. Got a minute?
Imagine being able to instantly see what a location you happen to be at looked like 50, 75, or 100 years ago.
A team of app developers wants to use today's ubiquitous digital camera culture to make such peering into the past possible.
The app, called Pivot, will match GPS data from your mobile device with geolocation data tags on images in a database.
The system will let you alternate between real-time and archived images of a place with a swipe of your touchscreen.
Two Palestinian-Americans are developing Pivot.
One has a background in public policy and the other in cultural anthropology.
The app will focus on two geographic locations to start: Historic Palestine and Boston, Mass.
An Israeli nonprofit is helping the project by sharing its database of historic photos.
Pivot's developers plan to roll out a beta version shortly, with a more complete version of the app available by the end of the year.
It's likely that users will receive a push notification to their device when they are near a site that can already be viewed through Pivot.
Assuming all goes as planned it'll be like carrying a time capsule in your pocket.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I'm Larry Greenemeier.