The Beat is a gorgeous service for story telling and documenting. Simply put, it’s Instagram overlaid on Google Street View, putting personal experiences and stories in context. It was build by the Social Media Information Lab at Rutgers University.
Now, The Beat is centered on topics, as represented by hash tags. So you don’t pick a place to look at, but a topic. For a quick impression, check out the hash tag #onlyinberlin.
And at this point it provides context only along the spatial axis, by matching the photo’s geo location with the coordinates on Street View. It’d be fantastic if the time axis could also be integrated somehow. It’s not easy to do nicely, but it’d be fantastic. Also, I wish a Street View layer for historic photographs existed that worked just like The Beat: Here’s what this building looked like in 1903, and how it changed over time.
It’s a great example of a playful & delightful mash up. I thoroughly recommend taking a few minutes to check out The Beat.