Last weekend I spent in a gorgeous city of Tallinn in Estonia. Instead of being the normal Finnish drunken tourist on a boat cruise with a goal to restock my alcohol supply, I attended Garage48, a start-up bootcamp. And this was no ordinary Garage48, since the theme was public service. So the challenge was to create something that gives value to the society and is most likely non-profit.
Everything started with pitching ideas to the audience, your future colleagues and team members. This was followed by the audience choosing their favorite projects and the team they wanted to be part of. Teams were formed and the product development could begin.
Every team had an assigned room to work in for the next 48 hours, and food and refreshments were offered to keep everybody going.
I was part of Ajapaik.ee team. A site that allows people to locate historical photos on the map in a game form. The starting point was to crowdsource geotagging of the Estonian Histroy Museum’s photo archives. Our team decided to make this more fun for the public and give them a chance to test their knowledge of their home town. The other more public friendly feature was the possibility to reshoot the historical photos and add them to the archive so the site visitors could experience the change of locations around them. A great opportunity for the photographing enthusiasts to develop their skills.
During these 48 hours developers and designers were working to make this service possible to be launched on sunday evening. As a someone who doesn’t know much about programming and coding, I found it very interesting to observe how all of this progressed. The developers were coding on their laptop and shared few words with each other and continued on. The only visual part of the whole project was the designers work. He created a beautiful layout and somehow the developers and himself made it all happen and function in the 48 hours. Amazing work by professionals. They deserve all the credit for the site. All I can say it’s awesome!
It’s also almost unbelievable how popular this game has become. People in Estonia are playing it and saying that it is very addictive. There is one problem though, the supply of the old photographs, so hopefully the History Museum will support Ajapaik.ee and share more photos. Other features like reshooting and uploading photos are the next step right alongside with sharing points on Facebook. Personally I would like to see this concept on an international level: a map of the whole world from which the user can choose the place to explore. The platform could also work for travellers with its reshooting options and getting to know the travel destination’s history. What would make this extremely remarkable is having the world’s history in one place.
Special thanks for the team member for making this happen.