113 years after footage of San Francisco was shot from a hot air balloon, folks are still marveling at the film, which gives a great look at the city in the years before the massive quake of 1906.
The film (embedded below) was shot from a balloon owned by Professor T. S. Baldwin (known as "the first American to descend from a balloon by parachute"), according to the Library of Congress. It makes the rounds every few years, with multiple versions posted to YouTube every half-decade or so, and appeared in SF Gate's proprietary player today. According to Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film, it's one of only a few such balloon-shot films that survived to this day.
According to the Library of Congress, which asks that all users credit the video in question to the "Library of Congress, Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division," here's what you see in the film:
The first view seen in the film, looking northwest, shows visitors in the makeshift fairground just south of Market Street between 12th and 11th streets [Frame: 0105]. (South Van Ness Avenue cuts through the site today.) Note the whitewashed grounds fences and ticketbooths .
As the balloon drifts northeast, sheds can be seen as well as a flock of pigeons flying across a backyard . A row of typical 1860s houses lines Eleventh Street and a group of pedestrians watches from the far side of the street . At far right is the Episcopal Church of the Advent. The low building along 11th Street is the Siebe and Green Bill Posters Company, with posters visible along its side . Farther northeast is a series of buildings facing Market Street; one has a wall advertisement for Nathan Hale Havana cigars .
The second segment  is a high-altitude view (approximately 1,000 feet) looking north to Van Ness Avenue between Hayes Street (upper cross-street) and Fell Street (lower cross-street) . The dormitory of St. Ignatius College is at upper left, and lumber and coal yards are at center. Scattered groups of row houses are also seen. (The area shown is now a built-up business district just south of the San Francisco Civic Center.) Broad Van Ness Avenue serves as an approximate divider of older San Francisco (at right) from the younger Western Addition at left.
The third section of the film  begins at maximum altitude (1,500 feet) and descends slowly. The opening view is northward, with Polk Street at the center, Larkin Street at right, and Van Ness Avenue at left . Polk and Larkin streets climb Russian Hill in the background. Angel Island, in San Francisco Bay, is vaguely visible in the distance . The camera swings slowly to the west (left). In the background is Holladay Hill (the present site of Lafayette Park) , and the adjacent eastern portion of the ridge of fashionable Pacific Heights. The Hayes Valley neighborhood lies in the foreground.
The camera swings west across Franklin and Gough streets, then pauses, centered on Jefferson Square , between Laguna and Gough streets. Swinging back eastward, the camera captures St. Ignatius Church and the adjacent college (to become the University of San Francisco on a later site to the west), on Hayes Street . The site is now occupied by San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall.
The balloon descends vertically between Van Ness Avenue and Polk Street, looking north over the city toward the future site of City Hall (upper part of view) . The camera then drifts back to the west. The film concludes with the descent into the fairgrounds looking northwest over the roofs of Hayes Valley  in late afternoon light before the Van Ness Family Hotel obscures our view . Descending farther, a row of connected shops and restaurants is seen along Market Street, adjacent to the fairgrounds . The film ends with a view of the fairground fences and waiting visitors.