Mapping history: How Google Maps and Nat Geo are layering old and new space (just like today’s TED Talk)

TED Blog

Frederic Kaplan has found an unconventional way to build a time machine. Rather than making a metal object (or, uh, a police call box) that whisks you through time and space, he wondered: Could a time machine be built out of information?

In today’s TED Talk, filmed at TEDxCaFoscariU, Kaplan previews the Venice Time Machine, a collaboration between Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne and Ca’ Fosari University, to make a geographical and historical simulation of this incredible city, whose past is perhaps the most well-documented in the world. The project is digitizing 80 kilometers of archives to re-create spaces that are now lost to time.

In a similar vein, Google recently opened up its Google Maps Engine, which lets ordinary people add rich data to Google Maps, so that “together we can organize the world’s geospatial information and make it accessible.” Last month, they revealed that…

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