The Amsterdam Time Machine is a digital commons for the history of Amsterdam



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.



05.03.2019   Time Machine receives 1 million euro seed money from European Committee! Many of the ATM members are founding partners in Time Machine (press releases in Dutch; in English)

05.03.2019    Claartje Rasterhoff, ATM coordinator, presents ATM at DEN event in Rotterdam

ATM data sprint on 28 February at KNAW Humanities Cluster

Venice Time Machine & ATM’s Julia Noordegraaf featured in a four-page article in Der Spiegel (January 2019)

Do 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 (2018).