The project 'Heritage and Location' aimed to enable heritage institutions to share their information and develop new services based on their data, to reach a new audience. In this project, Waag ensured that to the needs of the creative industry and the end-users were represented in the project and that the implementation was based on open data structures.

Heritage & Location was conducted by DEN Foundation in The Netherlands. DEN supported archives, museums and other heritage institutions to improve their digital strategies and services. The sharing of knowledge of and experiences with ICT is a core mission of DEN. Furthermore, DEN encouraged the institutions to invest in open technology, to implement ICT-standards and to make use of other tools that contribute to sustainable information services.

Histograph: geocoding places of the past

Our cultural heritage is a rich source of open data about places and events in time. Metadata and digital objects are meticulously collected, curated and annotated by specialists in museums, archives, libraries all over the world. The availability of these historical data is increasing fast but collections remain hard to search geographically.

Enter Histograph: a historical geocoder for search and standardization of place names throughout history. For example, people used different names for the city of The Hague: ’s-Gravenhage, Vander Haegen, Haga Comitis, Den Haege, La Haye, De Haach, In den Haige, Schravenhaegen and ‘t Haagie. Histograph collects and links place names and uses these to georeference and standardize place names in time; currently, sources used include birth places of Dutch East India Company crew members, monastry records and historical census data.

Project duration

1 Jul 2012 - 1 Jul 2015



  • DEN