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Creating a digital history of the world

History is written by the victors, or so the saying used to go. But now, with the proliferation of camera phones and social media sites, history is being written by the masses.

From the Hudson River plane crash to the recent North African and Middle Eastern riots, we now have instant access to the opinions of thousands of on-the-ground eyewitnesses. But what if social networking could also be used to collect multitudes of perspectives on long-past historical events? Enter historypin.com, a new site from We Are What We Do, in partnership with Google.

Historypin allows users to electronically "pin" old photos to a giant map of the world, elaborating on the heretofore untold histories.

Users can search for photos by place or time. For example, you can search "San Francisco" and find a striking full-color photo of a wool coat-clad woman in front of an iconic cable car on Grant Avenue in 1952. You can also pull up that same photo in Google Maps and compare it with the street view of how chaotic Grand Avenue looks today.

According to Historypin's instructional video, the site's lofty but not-so-far-fetched goal is to "create a digital history of the world."

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