Sunday, March 25, 2018

Photo History of Toronto from big data

Sidewalk Labs is a division of the Google empire which has recently entered into a development agreement with Toronto. Sidewalk gets to create a "digital city" in part of Toronto's port lands, and Toronto gets... well, the future, I guess.

There has been some pushback.  In what is possibly an unrelated step, Sidewalk has just released a fun digitized map of Toronto. Nearly 40,000 historical photos from the City of Toronto archives of buildings and landmarks, from the 1880s to the recent present, can now be explored by roaming over the map Sidewalk provides. Sidewalk stresses the images belong to the Archives and were digitized and coded by the Archives; Sidewalk just geocoded them to their locations. 

This is either pretty cool or a bit disquieting, or some of both. Sidewalk says:
What does this tool have to do with Sidewalk Toronto?
The Old Toronto tool is not directly connected with the ongoing project plans for Sidewalk Toronto, but it does rely on some of the same technologies that can support a future neighbourhood.
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