Geo-tagging and mapping historical photographs makes photography collections more accessible to the general public. It opens up opportunities for people to research the locations and content of images which can be then ingested back into the institutions’ database.
Photo-sharing website Flickr runs The Commons for cultural institutions to upload their historical photography collections under a Creative Commons licence. Once the images are in The Commons, it is easy to locate these images on Google Maps. Paul Hagon has used a Google Street View mash-up to compare ‘then’ and ‘now’ photographs from the Powerhouse Museum’s Tyrrell Today Collection. Indicommons has published a wrap-up of institutions around the world exploring this idea.
Wired magazine goes into greater detail about what technology you can use to achieve successful geo-tagging and mapping.