Friday, September 11, 2009
[cross-posted from the Official Google Blog]
The anniversary of September 11th evokes difficult memories here in New York and all over the world. The events of the day left an indelible mark on many New Yorkers, including me. The offices of my startup were at 30 West Broadway, right next door to 7 World Trade Center, so I was downtown that morning. I saw the planes hit and then watched, shocked, from the West Side Highway as the towers fell. It was a terrible day for all who were there, an impossible day for those who lost friends and loved ones and a shared experience of loss and grief for New York and the world.
Today I'm proud that Google is part of the launch of Make History, a website created by the National September 11th Memorial & Museum in partnership with design firm Local Projects. Make History is a participatory archive that invites people to share their experiences of 9/11 and its aftermath in an effort to preserve the memories of that time. The Museum has created a collaborative storytelling tool that makes innovative use of Street View through the Google Maps API. The Make History site allows people to place and then share their photos and videos in geographical context, collectively piecing together the history that was witnessed, one photo and video at a time.
To participate, simply go to the site and click "Add Your Story." You'll be asked to write about your experience of 9/11 and share your photos and videos, and then to place them at the spot where they were captured.
To power the Make History website, the Museum is using App Engine and leveraging the power of cloud computing. By taking advantage of the scalability of Google's infrastructure, the Museum can focus on building great applications and telling important stories — not on how many servers they will need.
The developer community that uses our tools and APIs is a source of inspiration for all of us at Google who work on platforms, partnerships and developer outreach — and Make History is a powerful example of why we all do what we do. This September 11th, as we sit with our memories of the day, we're honored to have been able to help enable the creation of such a significant and deeply moving archive.