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A new NYPL app is basically Tinder for NYC history nerds

Written by
Clayton Guse

The New York Public Library has a lot of old photos. One can spend hours digging through their archives and only scratch the surface of the trove of vintage goodies. But even though the library has made major strides in digitizing its analog content over the past few years, a significant portion of their historic photos lack the kind of metadata and tagging that passive internet users have learned to take for granted.

A new tool aims to change that. Titled Surveyor, the app lets users sift through the NYPL photo archives and provide detailed data on the location of a photo and the direction that the camera was facing when it was taken. The goal here is to help aid the NYPL's NYC Space/Time Directory, which gives users an interactive portal into bygone eras in the city. 

Surveyor is essentially Tinder for New York history nerds. The tool provides a photo, and if the user knows the location, they can plot it on a map. If they're unsure of where a photo is located, they can skip it. 

And hey, if you can't figure out the locations of any of the metadata-less images, you can always study up on a handful of maps to make you a better New Yorker

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