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Date(s) - 11/12/2019
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Virtual meeting via Zoom


With this email we would like to invite you to the next datasprint on 11 December and update you on the activities of the Amsterdam Time Machine.

11 december datasprint
On Wednesday 11 December (10-17, eLab Mediastudies UvA) we are organising a datasprint on ATM person data. Now that we’re making progress with the geo-infrastructure, we’re developing an approach to collectively identify and analyse Amsterdam people from a long-term perspective. Ivan and Leon have started a shared sheet that helps us see where we are now and what we need to do get to comprehensive person-time-location data, also based on work already done by Richard, Ivo and other colleagues. More information can be found in this open Google doc. For the datasprint we’ll be developing several concrete tasks that we’ll share in the coming weeks. Please sign up by sending an email to Claartje ( if you’d like to come and/or add remarks/suggestion to the google doc or on Slack.

With generous support by CLARIAH, Hans Mol, Mark Raat and Thomas Vermaut of the Fryske Akademy have been working hard on building the backbone for the Amsterdam Time Machine: a new historical GIS for the (long) 19th century that can be used for academic and non-academic purposes. More information can be The infrastructure was tested by colleagues from social history, linguistics and media studies by means of use cases and presented at conferences in Utrecht, Vienna and Dresden. Hans Mol and his team have also prepared a strategy for extending this infrastructure into the 18th and 17th centuries and in the coming period we’ll be joining efforts in acquiring funding to further develop this.

In the last month or so we have had meetings with several organisations of the Amsterdam Municipality (OIS, Ingenieursbureau, Monumenten & Archeologie, Stadsarchief) on organising collaboration in the development of historical linked data in general, and historical geo-infrastructure in particular.

linked data
For now, we stored some of the data in the excellent Druid, see or find other ATM-related datasets via search box ‘amsterdam time machine’. This is a temporary set-up and we’re currently discussing structural and sustainable solutions for storage and management of Amsterdam Time Machine data. Please be in touch if you’d like to join this conversation.

In the meantime, Menno den Engelse has also been making progress in the creation of data on, amongst other things, Amsterdam exhibitions and burgomasters:

New research/heritage/infrastructure projects have been described on our webpage, take a look here: And if you feel that your work should also be on there, please let us know and we’ll provide you with log-in details.

With an expanding infrastructure to back us up, it’s also time for the Amsterdam Time Machine to make more data and work on tools and interfaces. We frequently allude to  a common “historical” map of Amsterdam, amongst other “Time Machine” outlets that we have yet to really prototype. These tools should be designed to complement our day-to-day activities and research, and joining forces to start developing them through datasprints is, we think, the most efficient form of development we currently have (apart from official projects). Organising these types of sprints would then require a concise list of tasks that those of us who would like to participate could accomplish in one day, or in a series of sprints. We also propose to further open up on the organisation of the sprints to you all, so that you can also plan small dedicated sprints yourselves, with your contacts, at a time of your convenience. To this end, we have created a new tab in, “Request a sprint”, where we invite you to deposit any ideas on what sprints to organise, with whom, when, and how. These sprints do not only need to focus on development, but can focus on whatever task you think would benefit from the participation of your fellow Amsterdam Time Machine members. You can input ideas for sprints here (in the form of a spreadsheet), and elaborate on what that sprint would be about here. Once we have collected number of ideas for sprints, we can, discuss, e.g., on our ATM Slack, which to organise and when.

media attention
In the last couple of months Julia has been spreading the word by talking to journalists from several local, national and international outlets about our local Time Machine efforts. You can find an overview here:

That’s it for now, please let us know if you’d like to discuss anything, and we look forward to seeing you again soon.