Art by Sam Lessin.

The Return of History: Google Photos and Personal Big Data

Photo: Art by Sam Lessin.

For the last several years, thanks to social media, people have valued photos for the attention they immediately garner when shared. The value of a photo as a piece of history, or a memory, while once primary, has been mostly relegated to a relative afterthought.

When barriers to sharing were far higher, in the days before social media, much more of the aggregate value of photos came in the form of long-term memory aids for people or within small groups and families.

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