Instagram photos tend to be a dime a dozen. A nice breakfast or someone’s pets are what I usually find photos of after clicking an Instagram link. However, occasionally you’ll find people out living life and taking pictures of their exploits (no, not me). I’m certain it was those interesting pictures that gave the Rutgers University Social Media Information Lab the inspiration to create a web app that combines Instagram photos and the power of Google Street View.

Called “The Beat“, the project uses geolocation information provided by Instagram users, finding the nearest address or general location using Google Maps’ Street View to show where in the world a photo was taken. It’s interesting to see various locations and find yourself wondering what that place is like.

The Beat also offers the ability to search photos by specific hashtags used by Instagram members. For instance, the site is currently sporting a Thanksgiving theme, so the photos you’ll see will be using that hashtag. Although, after seeing a few turkeys, you probably would have figured that out too. This is a feature that will be appreciated by diehard Instagram users more than others, as a way of connecting with their fellow hashtag users.

Of course, the whole concept goes out the window when, for instance, a wonderful vacation photo is taken in some exotic location, but sent from home in suburbia. So we get a photo of a beautiful sunset over an ocean, but the Street View map is of your typical midwest neighborhood. Despite that, the project is intriguing and more than worth a peek.

Source: The Atlantic