These coders used 13,000 old photos to make a Google Street View map of San Francisco in the 1800s

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OldSF

If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to travel back in time and walk the streets of San Francisco, this might be the closest you’ll get.

Two developers, Dan Vanderkam and Raven Keller, had the brilliant idea to take all the old photographs from the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection and put them on an interactive map. This map functions similarly to Google Street View, except for when you zoom in on a particular place it gives you photos from as far back as 1850.

The project, called OldSF, lets you manipulate a slider to change the range of years (it goes from 1850 all the way up to 2000). The pair have geocoded about 13,000 images.

Visit the site here, or look below for some of the best photos we saw from the 1800s, marked with their locations in the city.


Point Lobos Avenue and 43rd, Dick’s Saloon, 1890

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Central Park, 8th and Mission, circa 1887

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Group of people overlooking the Cliff House from Sutro Heights, 1890

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Bush Street, west of Kearny, 1877

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Palm Avenue in Jefferson Square, 1881

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

View from City Hall, looking South, down 8th at Central Park, 1896

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Woodward’s Gardens, 1864

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

California Street Looking East From Montgomery, 1865

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Exterior of the What Cheer House on the south side of Sacramento below Montgomery, 1865

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Building on northeast corner of Front and California, 1890

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Baldwin Hotel bar, 1880

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Steuart Street, 1864

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

J. C. Flood Mansion, California Street, 1886

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, southeast corner of Sacramento Street and Van Ness, 1895

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Sacramento and Van Ness, 1887

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Woodward’s Gardens, 1874

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Miss Lake’s School for Young Ladies, corner Sutter and Octavia, 1890

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Howard Street, looking east from 6th, 1866

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

1919 California St., 1887

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Southern Pacific Passenger Depot, 1879

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Cablecar at South Park, 1865

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Fire Engine No. 13 at 1458 Valencia, 1884

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Shotwell Street near 20th. Snowfall, 1887

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Willows, 18th & Valencia, 1864

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY

Musicians performing outside the “Haunted Swing” at the Midwinter Fair in Golden Gate Park, 1894

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SAN FRANCISCO HISTORY CENTER, SAN FRANCISCO PUBLIC LIBRARY