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The Amsterdam Time Machine is a public-facing research resource

Introduction to the 5-part ARTE series on the Time Machine project

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.

We started building the Amsterdam Time Machine (ATM) in 2017 as a hub for linked historical data on Amsterdam.  To digitally unlock Amsterdam’s past, we bring together efforts in the fields of academia, cultural heritage, business, and computer science. 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 reference data; and 3D reconstructions. 

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, support public interfaces, 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 everyone to join, by connecting their own data and by using the data for research, storytelling, or other purposes. Its linked and open structure, and its collaboration with other Dutch Time Machines, in the European Time Machine, ensures that the Amsterdam data is connected  across the Netherlands and abroad, just as the city itself always has been.

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17-23 June 2019Julia Noordegraaf at the We Make The City festivalPakhuis de Zwijger
Piet Heinkade 179-181
1019 HC Amsterdam
15 June 2019Julia Noordegraaf at UniversiteitdagRoeterseiland Campus, UvA
12 June 2018Marieke van Erp's at ACDHACDH eventAustrian Academy of Sciences
11 JuneDatasprint on computer-transcribed notarial deedsAmsterdam
9 MayPublic Time Machine event at Spui25Amsterdam
9-10 MayTime Machine Europe workshopsAmsterdam
20 March 2019Dutch newspapers are en masse reporting on the Amsterdam City Archives digitising centuries-old handwritten manuscripts with computers (and the crowd!).
18-19 March 2019Europe Time Machine kick-off meetingBrussels
5 March 2019Time Machine receives 1 million euro seed money from European Committee! Many of the ATM members are founding partners in Time Machine.
5 March 2019Claartje Rasterhoff, ATM coordinator, presents ATM at DEN event in Rotterdam.Rotterdam
28 February 2019ATM data sprint KNAW Humanities Cluster
January 2019Venice Time Machine and ATM’s Julia Noordegraaf featured in a four-page article in Der Spiegel.
2018Do you speak “Amsterdam”? Be sure to check out this quiz on Amsterdam slang on the Quest website developed by our ATM – Meertens colleagues Nicoline van der Sijs en Kristel Doreleijers, with Marieke van Erp of the HuC Digital Humanities Lab. Also listen to Nicoline van der Sijs talking about 19th century Amsterdam dialects on the Dutch radio.