During the final days of World War II, the United States dropped devastating atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 65 years later, Hidenori Watanave, an associate professor of Tokyo Metropolitan University, has created a digital archive to preserve the memory of the Hiroshima bombing. A complement to the Nagasaki archive launched in 2010, the Hiroshima Archive layers historical resources into Google Earth, giving users the chance to explore a panoramic view of Hiroshima, survivor accounts, aerial photos, 3D topographical data, and building models.
The documents are all written in Japanese, which creates something of a language barrier for many readers. But a tour through the archive will tell you something important — something important about the Hiroshima bombing and how we’re memorializing the past in our new digital age.