New York Times Presents an Interactive “Moment in Time” Across the Globe

The New York Times‘s Lens photography blog posted their version of Google Earth: one moment in time captured by users across the globe, presented in an interactive spinning globe covered by stacks of photographs. Mesmerizing.

A Moment in Time


Lens, the NYT‘s photojournalism blog, recently published the interactive efforts of the “A Moment in Time” project. In their words:

Earth, covered by stacks of thousands of virtual photographs, corresponding in location to where they were taken by Lens readers at one “Moment in Time” (15:00 UTC, Sunday, May 2).Please select the category of picture you’d like to view from the pull-down menu in the upper left corner. Spin the globe to get where you want to go, then click on a stack to open the photos.Make no plans for the rest of the day.

It’s an absolutely mesmerizing and fantastically time-wasting project. The globe, which responds much like (albeit not quite as smoothly as) Google Earth, can be spun to see the photos taken in different parts of the world. It even works in real time to show the time of day–as I write this, the sun is setting in Central Asia. Photographs taken at that specific moment show up as massive stacks in sortable categories like Arts and Entertainment, Nature, and Work.

Somewhat predictably, given the Times’s American base, the U.S. is exceedingly well-represented, with huge stacks of photos in the urban centers of the Northeast, West Coast, and Midwest, but Western Europe, Central America, East Asia, and South Asia are also nicely documented.

It’s a fascinating project to see what the world was doing at that moment in time. Me? I was sleeping. I don’t know how so many other West Coasters dragged themselves out of bed at 7:00 a.m., but I’m glad they did.

Dan Nosowitz, the author of this post, can be followed on Twitter, corresponded with via email, and stalked in San Francisco (no link for that one–you’ll have to do the legwork yourself).


About the author

Dan Nosowitz is a freelance writer and editor who has written for Popular Science, The Awl, Gizmodo, Fast Company, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. He holds an undergraduate degree from McGill University and currently lives in Brooklyn, because he has a beard and glasses and that's the law