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Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research

Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research: Spatially Enhanced Publications of the Creative industries of the Dutch Golden Age

The Virtual Interiors project focuses on the question of how we can develop and publish 2D/3D/4D user interfaces to the linked data of the Semantic Web in the form of digital maps and virtual rooms using historical data on the production and the consumption of the Dutch Golden Age. Such interfaces are needed for critical, trustworthy readings of Big Data for humanities research, cultural heritage and creative industries. 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 is granted by the Dutch Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) within the program Smart Culture Big Data and Digital Humanities that support exchanges in research and expertise between public and private partners in the creative industries. The Virtual Interiors links with the Investment Grant NWO Large project ‘Golden Agents. Creative Industries and the Making of the Dutch Golden Age’ and 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 funded for implementation in the CLARIAH-infrastructure.


Project partners are prof. dr. Charles van den Heuvel (Principal Investigator Huygens ING & UvA), prof. dr. Julia Noordegraaf (UvA-CREATE), prof. dr. Gabri van Tussenbroek (UvA-Amsterdam Monuments and Aracheology)  and their private partners Brill (Marti Huetink) and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Johan Oomen & Jesse de Vos).