Together, the University of Antwerp and the local and regional heritage institutions, have the potential of becoming a key player in this field, playing a leading role with other Founding Institutional Partners all over Europe. Profoundly embedded in such a strong collaborative European environment, the Antwerp Time Machine can also distinguish itself European-wide by a set of unique assets:
- Its focus on spatial humanities: the integration of structured and unstructured, textual, visual, cartographic etc. data through space (using GIS)
- Its long chronological term: high-density concentration of data for six centuries, with excursions into the medieval and pre-medieval past.
- Its focus on complexity, for instance in the development of transcription algorithms for complex texts (texts with a lot of alterations, additions, multiple authorship etc... – the majority of historical archives!)
- Its focus on the micro-level: we aim to move beyond a mere ‘streetview’ of the past, entering individual houses and livelihoods, and linking data at the level of people & places.
Time Machine Antwerp is meant as a pilot project, elaborated during the development of the European Time Machine bid. It aims to prepare data, to investigate possibilities for integration of data, which already exists, and inventory the prerequisites needed for further integration, automatization and valorization of these data. Furthermore, it aims to show the potential for different scientific, public and economic actors.