Pic A Moment searches Instagram for pictures taken at specific time and place

by Felix Esser

posted Friday, January 3, 2014 at 10:42 AM EDT


Each day, millions of new pictures are uploaded to Instagram, and most of them simply vanish in the depth of Facebook's server farms. With all those moments recorded, do they even serve a purpose? While it may not seem so upon first glance, the makers of the Pic A Moment iOS app have figured out what Instagram is all about: recording what happened at a specific time at a specific place, and saving it for eternity. Well, maybe not eternity, but at least a little while.

So, what to make of all that data? With Pic A Moment, you can actually search Instagram's database for photos taken at a space-time location that you can specifiy. For example, if you want to know what happened on October 3rd, 2013 a the junction of 3rd Ave. and 42nd St. in Manhattan, simply enter the date and location into the app, and it'll show you what pictures other Instagram users uploaded there and then. Neat, isn't it?

But besides fooling around with it, we actually see a forenic application for Pic A Moment. By crowdsourcing images taken at a specific location during a specific event, law enforcement could be able to find clues about a crime that were recorded coincidentally or on purpose by bystanding Instagram users -- just like it so happened during the Boston Marathon bombings last year.

Even though Pic A Moment isn't the first app of its kind, -- there's already Instalook which sells for US-$ 0.99 on iTunes -- it is free, fun, and looks like a great way to explore your surroundings, or simply try to make some sense of all the millions of images uploaded each day to Instagram. Pic A Moment is available on iTunes here.

(via TechCrunch)