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'This Is Now': Watch the world in real time via Instagram photos

Web site This is Now aggregates Instagram photos as they're uploaded in five cities around the world.

This is Now

A new service called This is Now lets you see the world through Instagram's eyes. All you have to do is pick one of five major cities (New York, Sao Paolo, London, Tokyo, or Sydney), and you're instantly immersed in a beautiful real-time visualization of Instagram photos from those locations. Once you start watching, it's hard to pull yourself away.

This is Now was created by Marcio Puga, Mauricio Massaia and Per Thoresson. It uses the Instagram API to access Instagram's photos. Here's the unofficial project's description:

The This is Now project is a visual composition which uses real-time updates from the ever popular Instagram application based on users' geotag locations. The tool streams photos instantly as soon as they are uploaded on Instagram and captures a city's movement, in a fluid story.

The number of photos and the speed at which they roll across your screen depends on the local time of the location you choose. If the city is asleep, you'll see less photos and less-frequent updates. If it's awake, you'll be watching a whirlwind in no time.

At the top right of each city page, you can see how many people are viewing it at the moment. If you click on the "What is this" link in the top left of each city page, the service will tell you something along the lines of this:

So far, [Number] photos have been seen and [Number] photos have been clicked through [City]-now, by a total of [Number] people. These people normally spend an average of [Time] watching the activity before they find something better to do. You've been already watching it for [Time].

If you click on any photo, you'll be sent to see the full version at, including who uploaded it and the comments people are making about it. If you're one of the 80 million Instagram users, you can also log in and follow the person right then and there.