The Online Genealogist

John Brugliera

Google Street View History Feature

I’m really liking what Google Street View has available for the more-photographed areas – historic views of the same place!  Sure, it only goes back to 2008 in most cases, but it’s still interesting enough, documenting local history, albeit very briefly.

I’ll use the Kilton Public Library in my hometown of West Lebanon, New Hampshire as an example here.  In October 2008, it was an empty lot.


In July 2009, most of the frame was up.


Completed by September 2012.


And the latest shot, from July 2013.


And here’s a similar example, but reversed.  This building was just south of the library in October 2008.


Why “was”?  Because it was GONE by July 2009.


To see what’s available for a particular view, click on the clock and a history box will come up.  This example has four such views to choose from.


What does this have to do with online genealogy?  Well, it’s online and historic, but not very helpful genealogy-wise…yet.

Imagine this feature in 100 years, though!  Better yet, a great “What if?…” is if it went back 100 years now; how cool would THAT be?

Google has been attempting to do something like that in their user-submitted historic photos of various areas, but that’s not quite the same.

The main point in bringing this up is how QUICKLY things can change.  I found these two prime examples within yards of each other!

Moral of the Story:  Capture it NOW in photographs; before it’s GONE and you CAN’T.

T-O-G Biz 01



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