Amsterdam Time Machine

The Amsterdam Time Machine (ATM) is a research and development platform on the history of Amsterdam. It’s a digital commons, coordinated by the CREATE research program at the University of Amsterdam and powered by a consortium of people and institutions in academia, cultural heritage and industry. We invite others to join, by connecting their own data and by using the data for research, storytelling, or other purposes.

Born in 2017, the ATM brings together  efforts in the fields of academia, culture heritage and computer science to digitally unlock Amsterdam’s past, by means of this website, but also, for instance, regular meetings, joint projects, a historical GIS, and a data repository system.

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 called ALiDa; Maps and geo information; and 3D reconstructions.

They are the result of many larger and smaller projects that can be found in the Projects Wiki (add your own!). Ultimately, by integrating the three blocks, our web of historical information on people, places, relationships, events, and objects will  unfold in time and space through geographical and 3D representations. The Showcase section will give a taste of how the Amsterdam Time Machine is being used in research, heritage, teaching, and beyond.

The Amsterdam Time Machine, like other Time Machines, is designed to allow for zooming in and zooming out, in place, in time, and for different social levels. Systematic linkage of datasets from heterogeneous sources allows users to ask questions about, for instance, cultural events, everyday life, social relations, or the use of public space in the city of Amsterdam. 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.