High Resolution Snapshots of the Past – Important of digital assets 200 years from now

January 30, 2016


old and new family photos

Today I came into realization that lead me think about how important digital images and videos of current times will be in the future. Just think about the digital images and videos of today, how important they will be for people a hundred or more years from now. People will be able to get a very detailed look at the past and see how people live, see their great-grandparents and see how the world looked in the past. This will become more immersive the further we go into the future.

Think about it this way. In 200 years, all of the people who live today won’t be alive. People of live in the present already or will give birth to children. Some of them already have great grandchilds. Two hundred years from now, the great grandchild of those who live today, will be able to get  a very detailed view of the past and even see high-resolution color images, videos and even 3D virtual reality view of family ancestors. People who live today can get a glimpse of those memories in old photos and some of them maybe in videos from a camera footage.

Of course it depends whether the individual has digital recording of himself. But it’s not only about the family. A person who’ll live here 200 years from now, will be able to see how the world looked and how people have lived here hundreds year back. All those YouTube videos, Google Map photos and all the trillions of digital data will still be preserved. We can assume that those digital imaging properties of the large companies like Google for example, are backed up and will be preserved in the future. I assume that Google will have a Google Map version which allows you to look back in time and let you choose a date to view in Google Street View. This would be an amazing experience that we can only just imagine.

By 2020, their going to be 6.1 billion smartphone users globally. This means that a few trillions photos will be taken each yea, capturing a highly-detailed portion of the past in a digital form. 1 trillion images have been taken in 2015. Take a look at this infographic at mylio.com. PEople are taking more photos because their mobile phone camera. It’s a camera that goes everywhere they go. Digital technology continues to improve, and we can assume that this number will continue to grow.

All those images are snapshots of the past. for me it seems that every pixel and pixel of those images is important. There will be now way to retrieve those photons of light in the future, and everyone of you help preserve those precious view of how Earth looked at that point in time you tap your smartphone screen to capture a shot. Videos are not less and even more important, because they are showing a living and breathing view of the past. I predict that in the future, most smartphones will have a virtual reality recording camera that will record the scene in 3D. This will allow people using VR headsets to experience the past in a very unique and immersive way.

We are just making up the ground for much bigger things that will probably happen after we leave this life. You can now understand why every photo and video that we take has such an important meaning, not just for us, but for the next generation.  Just talking about it makes me want to live 1000 years to see how future people will experience our present days. It’s like bringing people from the dead back to life. Because the image quality is very high, people will be able to be more emotionally connected to their ancestors. For me, recording videos of myself is like keeping me alive long after I am gone. There is something so emotionally stimulating about that thought that makes me want to take picture of my family members for future family members to experience in years to come.

I’m interested to hear what you have to say about this topic. Please share your thoughts, emotions and opinions in the comment section below – Thanks.

Image credit: By Seattle Municipal Archives from Seattle, WA [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons and By Sylius (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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