Within the GIStorical Antwerp project, seven snapshots between 1584 and 1984 were created. Each of this snapshots uses a specific set of both textual as cartographical sources. The result is a GIS-environment which not only allows a micro-level view of 500 years of urban development, but more importantly allows an immediate spatial and social contextualization of a sheer unlimited number of other datasets, both those realized through 30 years of research on Antwerp and the mass of structured and unstructured digital 'big data'.