“High time for time travel!”

Between all the data on historical Amsterdam that is digitally available and the expertise of researchers, computer and information scientists, and heritage professionals, it must be possible to develop a time machine with which we can walk the streets of historical Amsterdam and meet her inhabitants.

The Amsterdam Time Machine (ATM) is a hub for linked historical data on Amsterdam. Born in 2017, it brings together efforts in the fields of academia, cultural heritage and computer science to digitally unlock Amsterdam’s past. Ultimately, the web of information on people, places, relationships, events, and objects will unfold in time and space through geographical and 3D representations. While we’re working on that, we’d like to provide access to the three building blocks of the Time Machine: a Linked Data cloud visualisation called ALiDa; historical Maps and other geo information; and 3D reconstructions. Read more.

In the Time Machine, users will be able to travel back in time and navigate the city on the levels of neighborhoods, streets, houses, rooms, ultimately zooming in on the pictures that adorned the walls. The systematic linkage of datasets from heterogeneous sources allows users to retrieve historical information and ask new questions on, for instance, cultural events, everyday life, social relations, or the use of public space in the city of Amsterdam.

ATM uses state-of-the-art computational methods and techniques, and it will be carefully annotated with regards to issues of uncertainty and fuzziness that are inherent to historical data.

We invite others to join, by connecting their own data and by using the data for research, storytelling, or other purposes.

Do you have questions, ideas, or suggestions? Please contact our project coordinator Claartje Rasterhoff – c.rasterhoff@uva.nl

Inspired by Venice Time Machine, the Time Machine Flagship Proposal, and many other linked data, geo and 3D programs.


Research projects

Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research. Spatially enhanced publications of the creative industries of the Dutch Golden Age. Huygens ING; UvA; Beeld & Geluid; Brill, PI Charles van den Heuvel, co-applicants Julia Noordegraaf and Gabri van Tussenbroek

Access to City Councils using Exploratory Search Systems (ACCESS). UvA, Open State Foundation, Stamkracht BV, en Notubiz BV, PI’s Jaap Kamps en Maarten Marx

Amsterdam Time Machine: HisGIS meets CLARIAH, Fryske Akademy, Huygens ING, Meertens Instituut, UvA. Applicants: Marieke van Erp; Gertjan Filarski; Hans Mol, Julia Noordegraaf; Claartje Rasterhoff, Nicoline van der Sijs, Henk Wals; Ivo Zandhuis; Richard Zijdeman

Diaspora and identity: an integrated archaeological and historical investigation into material life, ethnicity, and diet in the district of Vlooienburg, Amsterdam (AD 1600-1800), PI James Symonds

Freedom of the Streets, Gender and Urban Space in Eurasia 1600-1850. PI Danielle van den Heuvel


Heritage projects

Het Verhaal van Amsterdam’, Linked Open Data voor erfgoedcollecties Amsterdam. Stichting Adamnet, projectleider Ivo Zandhuis