Cartography (from Greek χάρτης khartēs, "papyrus, sheet of paper, map"; and γράφειν graphein, "write") is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.


We spoke to Alain about his role in helping to construct the SySTEM 2020 map, that uses the data gathered in the project.


It has been a while since we have put all buildings in the Netherlands in an interactive map. The maps can still be ordered in our webshop.


In times of aggressive nationalism, economic protectionism and mass migrant movements, third year Graphic Design student teams researched contemporary connections between societies and individuals and proposed alternative ways of looking at borders and real time connectivity.


It is always fun to use maps for a project. For an event about open data, we started with the metaphor of an expedition.


For Maptime, developer Bert Spaan created a nifty online tool to extract the data of a street pattern, and turn it into an object. You can simply choose your favourite part of the city and create a vector image (svg) of it. This svg can be used at digital machines, like they have at a Fablab or other makerspace, to fabricate a sticker (with the vinyl cutter) or laser it from wood.


Waag opened the world's first pop-up microbial pet shop in the heart of Amsterdam's Red Light District in the summer of 2016.


Everyone can participate in an online initiative to connect 5.000 old maps of Amsterdam to their geographical coordinates. This has partly emerged from the Heritage and Location project in which Waag participates.


There is a saying that all roads lead to Rome. The people at Moovel lab set out on 3.375.746 journeys to check if that was really true.


In the Amsterdam Smart Citizens Lab, we explore tools and applications to map the world around us.


Many museums, libraries, and archives are exploring how to enrich their datasets with historic geo-location. But how do you link data from the past to specific sites from specific times?


Time flies when you're making maps. Last November, Waag's Maptime chapter started with an introduction meeting on digital mapmaking - six months and six meetups later, we've covered a wide range of subjects.


A week ago, the fourth edition of Maptime Amsterdam took place. It was great to see so many people showing up — our Makers Guild room was packed, people were even sitting on the ground and on the tables. Just like the previous editions, a great variety of people attended last week, all with a shared interest in maps and mapmaking: developers, designers, geographers, historians, and, most importantly, both beginners and experts.


There are two ways to make a map: with data, algorithms and a computer, or by hand, with paper and a pencil. During the second edition of Maptime Amsterdam, the monthly map hack night hosted by Waag, we did both!


In November 2014, MaptimeAMS starts at de Waag: monthly map hack night. We meet once a month on a Wednesday night at 18.30 to work on maps, learn about geospatial data, and teach each other the latest cartographic tools.



Maptime AMS

Maptime was, rather literally, time for mapmaking.


On 20 June 2014, the opening of the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) took place. This institute has been established by the City of Amsterdam, TU Delft, Wageningen University and MIT (Boston) and aims to research for innovative solutions for cities in the field of mobility, pollution and loneliness among citizens and to educate students on these topics.


Een nieuwe interactieve censuurkaart van IVPN geeft een overzicht van de wereldwijde situatie. Door op een land te klikken krijg je snel inzicht waar de vrije meningsuiting online in het geding is en waar critici de mond wordt gesnoerd.


There are many kinds of real-time transit maps, but Travic shows this information on a worldwide scale, with of over 70 transit systems.


The atlas of energy labels puts all buildings in The Netherlands and their respective energy labels on the map. Developers Bert Spaan and Taco van Dijk and project manager Job Spierings of Waag have developed the online interactive version.


The Planning Department of the City of Amsterdam has created a number of interesting Google Maps, all of which can be found at They have now also created the Amsterdam 'Map of Maps', a mega-map of Amsterdam, which allows you to view all the mapped city data on one Google Map.


Until 6 April 2014 at Bureau Europa in Maastricht, the exhibition ‘Mansholt, Landscape in Perspective’ can be seen. This exhibition wants to provide insight in the changing relation between agriculture and landscape, and the dilemmas of European agricultural policy. Waag made an interactive gricultural map of The Netherlands based on open data.


Cameron Beccario, a software engineer, created an interactive map that shows near real-time currents of Earth’s wind using data from the U.S. National Weather Service, the 'Earth Wind Map'.


Data models, ontologies, thesauri and vocabularies: all attemps to systematically arrange the knowledge of our world. The importance of these systems increases exponentially now that databases are opened, shared and linked.


The interactive map of all buildings in the Netherlands that we developed recently within the CitySDK project is now also used during the Impakt Festival in Utrecht as starting point in the 'Capitalist Metabolism Utrecht Tour'


Why did Waag develop the CitySDK? Governments are producing lots of information and this data is no mostly open for wider application. From city councils to national governments and the European Union: they all produce an enormous diversity of data. All of them with their own targets and means, from every specific part of the society.


Waag was present with the Smart CitySDK project at the OpenStreetMap conference 'State of the Map' this year. The event was held from 6-8 September 2013 in Birmingham, UK. Bert Spaan, known as the developer of the map of all buildings in the Netherlands, sproke at the conference.


Bert Spaan's map of all buildings in the Netherlands according to their year of construction shows the country from a whole new perspective.


Bert Spaan, developer at Waag, has made a map within the framework of the European Smart CitySDK project to show all 9,866,539 buildings in The Netherlands, shaded according to their year of construction.


A special example of datamapping that shows the racial segregation in the United States: 308,745,538 dots in all–around 7 GB of visual data.


Interesting pattern emerge of areas where Twitter is often (or not) used in a new set of maps.


During the Hackathon on 29 June at the City of Amsterdam, the (prototype) app 'HuisMatch' (HouseMatch) was awarded as the best app developed on the CitySDK mobility-API. Time to find out what this app can do!


Walking passed the 'sandmapping performance' of Esther Polak, Ivar van Bekkum and Bert Kommerij, people were coming together in Pakhuis de Zwijger for the booklaunch of 'The City as Interface', by Martijn de Waal. I had the opportunity to read the book before the launch.


The website of the Drents Archive and 7scenes has been chosen by a professional jury to be the best history website of 2012! As such, AnnoDrenthe has received the prestigious History Online Award.


Wednesday the 27th of June, Waag was all about science. Citizen Science to be exact. Together with Utrecht University and 7scenes, Waag organized an inspiring three-day conference: ‘Citizen Scientist on the Move’.


At the end of March 2012, the beta version of was launched. This is a website and mobile app to time travel the province of Drenthe., the second installment of the City Tracking project funded by the Knight News Challenge, is live.




With the project Powermapping Waag intended to involve citizens in local energy sources in urban environments.


Every citizen of Amsterdam carries an invisible map of the city in his head. The way he or she moves through the city is determined by this mental map. Amsterdam RealTime in 2002 visualized those maps.