July 26, 2019
Have you ever wondered what Edmonton’s streets looked like in the 20th century? Now there’s an app for that.
On This Spot is a new, free app that lets you peer into Edmonton’s past. The app features two walking tours, historic photos and a program that highlights historic areas to users wherever they are in the city.
The app allows users to hold a mobile device up to specific buildings to view a historical overlay of what was once there. With location services, the app can let you know if you are near a historic site anywhere in the city.
“This app provides a unique, visual journey into our past,” says Robert Geldart, Senior Planner with the Heritage Planning Unit. “It uses technology in a fun way to allow us to learn more about Edmonton’s history and see how much the City has changed.”
The two walking tours highlight the Strathcona area and the life and work of John Walter, a prominent city builder from the early 1900s.
On This Spot Enterprises developed the app in cooperation with the City Planning Branch. The City provided much of the historical background for the app and worked with the Edmonton Archives to source photos.
On This Spot began as a then-and-now photography blog created by Vancouver resident Andrew Farris. In 2016 he partnered with fellow University of Victoria graduates Chris Reid and Sean Edmunds to develop the concept into an app featuring tours of Vancouver. They have since partnered with heritage organizations to expand coverage across the country including Calgary, Toronto, and Ottawa.