Virtual Time Travel with Den Bosch Time Machine

During the Den Bosch Data Week, the starting signal of the ‘Den Bosch Time Machine’ sounded on October 28. This Time Machine digitally brings 800 years of local history to life. Huygens ING is one of the partners that will help realise this new Time Machine.

Navigating through space and time

Councilor Huib van Olden signed a letter of intent with five organisations to work on the Time Machine in the coming years. He calls it ‘a dream for anyone interested in the past of ‘s-Hertogenbosch. From researchers and policymakers to the creative, educational and tourism sectors – everyone can get a wealth of information here. It is, as it were, a Google Earth and Facebook for the past. Personal networks from the Middle Ages are becoming visible again and you can easily navigate through the historic city in space and time.’

Big data from the past

Dieke Wesselingh, head of Heritage ‘s-Hertogenbosch explains: ‘Together with the participating organisations, we connect all digital data about the history of the city, its inhabitants and visitors, and link it to maps and 3D models.’ Techniques such as artificial intelligence and automatic handwriting recognition help in the analysis and interpretation of big data.

It concerns many types of data such as inventory descriptions, construction drawings, population registers and archaeological and building history data. Medieval manuscripts, historical objects, images, audio fragments, paintings and personal stories of Bosschenaren can also be used.

The project is coordinated by Heritage ‘s-Hertogenbosch in collaboration with Huygens Institute for History of the Netherlands (Huygens ING), Jheronimus Academy of Data Science (JADS), SintLucas Creative School, Avans Hogeschool and the European network on military heritage EFFORTS.