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DH colloquium on 19 March: Richard Zijdeman (IISH)

At the next Translantis/AsymEnc colloquium, Richard Zijdeman (International Institute of Social History) will talk about the NLGIS project, on plotting historical data on maps that incorporated the changing boundaries of the Netherlands of the past 200 years.

Date: Thursday 19 March, 15.30-17.00
Place: Janskerkhof 13 (room 0.06), Utrecht


Some years ago, an online tool called ‘NLGIS’ allowed researchers to easily plot historical data on a map of the Netherlands. Notably, the maps were historically accurate, in the sense that they incorporated changing boundaries of the Netherlands -at the municipality level-, for the past two hundred years. As you can imagine, plotting your data on maps, provides much insight in regional variation and development over time of the processes we are researching, such as trends in labour relations, occurrences of strikes, or the rise and fall of the breadwinner-homemaker household. Unfortunately, this great service was terminated, leaving many of us with nice maps, that can only be replicated through advanced software packages.

 Thanks to a DANS KDP-grant, a small team at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) has been working on ‘The recovery of NLGIS’, as the project is called. The main aim of the project was to restore the basic features of the mapping functionality that mapping function: visualise data from the Historical Database of Dutch Municipalities, download such visualisations, and upload and visualize one’s own data. However, aware that our efforts might go offline too someday, we’ve tried to expand our services to different audiences. Therefore, parallel to the website, we provide data and mapping services through an API and as an R-package. Moreover we only used open source software (e.g. Python, and D3), and the entire project is available via Github.

 During this talk, I would like to talk about the process of ‘recovering’ NLGIS, give you a short demonstration of the current functionality, and provide and outlook how this NLGIS might in the future be better incorporated in the research process.

Richard Zijdeman is chief data officer at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam

Thursday 19 March, 15.30-17.00, Janskerkhof 13 (room 0.06), Utrecht


Translantis/AsymEnc colloquia are organized by the digital humanities research projects Translantis – Digital Humanities Approaches to Reference Cultures: The Emergence of the United States in Public Discourse in the Netherlands, 1890-1990 (www.translantis.nl) and Asymmetrical Encounters: Digital Humanities Approaches to Reference Cultures in Europe, 1815–1992 (www.asymenc.eu)..