Imagine standing on a street corner in New York or, say, in Grand Central Station.
Then imagine getting a ping on your phone showing you exactly what the spot you’re standing on looked like say 100 years ago.
How cool is that.
And that’s what the New York Daily News is doing with its use of the Foursquare Profile.
It’s an exciting way to experience history, instantly; to see what, where you are, looked liked years ago, and compare it to what it looks like now.
It works like this:
You have to sign up, and when you “opt in,” the New York Daily News will notify you when an image of theirs matches your location.
You have to have your phone’s preference set for “push notifications.”
The Foursquare Daily News Profile has a list of images from the papers archives, one of the largest anywhere, dating back from as early as 1880.
Want to see Penn Station as it once was, but with some rather witty comments from today’s travelers?
Click “More Information” and you get this great images of the queen of all railroad stations.
My favorite is the 1942 pic of Grand Central Station’s huge clock with hundreds of travelers behind it, heading home for Christmas.
There’s a Google map and some wise-guy comments from today’s travelers about kicking your luggage down the escalator, and the number of umbrellas found in 1947: fifteen hundred of them
Check out Yankee Stadium. Click “More Information” and a terrific pictorial series of the ball team comes up.
Best is the sepia toned, 1950 snap of rookie Eddie Ford who hurled the Yankees to their fourth straight World Series victory over the Phillies. Ford is being hugged by the great manager, Casey Stengel.
Location Based Services consultant, Eric Leist says that it’s a shame that the New York Daily News campaign is
thinking in terms of the old Foursquare. Leist says,”now that Foursquare has added pictures and comments, the NY Daily News images could live within the Foursquare experience.” “Unfortunately,” he adds, “The NY Daily News hasn’t incorporated the new features. Yet.”
Still, the Post knows that every corner of New York has a story to tell, from a film that was shot there, to a bank that was robbed there or an historic, human moment.
The paper has brought its huge archive of New York’s past to life and has engaged the audience with tantalizing questions:
• Was there once a diner here?
• Did the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade really look like that in 1959?
This is Social Media harnessed to the power of images and tips, bringing the past and the present together, as only old and new media can.