The Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) has granted Smart Culture – Big Data / Digital Humanities funding of nearly € 625.000 for the project Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research: Spatially Enhanced Publications of the Creative industries of the Dutch Golden Age, by prof. dr. Charles van den Heuvel (Principal Investigator; Huygens ING & UvA), prof. dr. Julia Noordegraaf (UvA-CREATE), prof. dr. Gabri van Tussenbroek (UvA) and their private partners Brill (Marti Huetink) and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Johan Oomen & Jesse de Vos).
The project, which will start in 2018, will focus on the question of how we can develop and publish digital maps and virtual rooms using historical data to represent the cultural life of the past in a reliable way. It is designed to link with the Investment Grant NWO Large project ‘Golden Agents’, led by Charles van den Heuvel at Huygens ING and with participation of researchers of the UvA research priority area Cultural Heritage and Identity (ACHI). The project will also deliver a proof of concept of the Amsterdam Time Machine, a collaborative project coordinated by Julia Noordegraaf (UvA-CREATE) that just received funding for implementation in the CLARIAH-infrastructure.
The Semantic Web needs interfaces for critical, trustworthy readings of Big Data for humanities research, cultural heritage and creative industries. (Re-)using data on the production and consumption of cultural goods, geodata, maps and building plans of the Dutch Golden Age, the ‘Virtual Interiors’ project will unlock the research potential of big historical data in a geospatial context. Virtual reconstructions of interiors of houses and their locations in Amsterdam of the Dutch Golden Age will not only provide insight in socio-spatial aspects of the cultural production and consumption of the creative industries, but also contribute to the development of spatial humanities and digital hermeneutic methods. The Amsterdam case study focuses on the implementation of these methods by enhancements of GIS with applications of ‘deep/thick maps’ and historic reconstructions in virtual 3D/4D spaces with multiple perspective views and visual representations of uncertainty.
The project will recruit one PhD student (at Huygens ING), a junior researcher at the UvA and two postdoctoral researchers to be embedded at Brill and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and will start in 2018.