Few London apps are as cool as Time Out’s very own, we have to admit, but Streetmuseum, produced by the Museum of London, comes pretty damn close. That’s why we weren’t surprised when their free app, available on both iPhone iOS and Android, made techie headlines earlier this week. Launched in May 2010, the developers aimed surprisingly low, expecting to attract a mere 5,000 downloads – only 295,000 off the mark, then. Having recorded 300,000 downloads, Streetmuseum has quickly established itself as the must-have app for history buffs pacing these time-strewn streets.
Making excellent use of augmented reality technology, users hold up their camera to hundreds of London streets, sights and landmarks and receive detailed info on what they’re looking at. Better still, their camera presents them with versions of whatever they can see in their viewfinder, as it had looked in decades gone by. Want to see what Carnaby Street looked like at the height of its fame? Streetmuseum can show you. Interested in the grimy wharfs of Victorian London? Hold up Streetmuseum and the plush media offices decay into aged filth.
It can’t show you the latest film at the nearest cinema (we can, by the way!), but if you want to see the world’s greatest city as it once was, Streetmuseum is pretty hard to beat.
For info, see museumoflondon.org.uk.
Streetmuseum is also available as Streetmuseum Londinium, a version that focuses on Roman sites. The developers have also put together a London-inspired app for music lovers – Soundtrack to London – available for Nokia smartphone users only.