Ghent Mapped

Ghent Mapped connects maps
with places, heritage and Ghentians

Maps provide an overview of the city, at a particular moment and from a particular viewpoint. We bring together all kinds of historical maps: of Ghent, its districts and its neighbourhoods. We make a stacked city of georeferenced maps that you can try to fathom.

We organise the city into thousands of places: streets, squares, parks, waterways, shops, churches, schools, cafés, etc. Each of them has its human history and is linked to cultural heritage. Looking through the maps, you explore these places in the city.

Photographs, buildings, postcards, works of art, newspapers, posters, stones, objects…
Remnants of the past are scattered across Ghent’s museums and archives. Thanks to digitisation, we can reconnect this heritage with each other, with the city and with the people of Ghent.

Who knows the city, really?
We believe that knowledge about ‘the’ city is not just in books, or in the minds of historians, or wandering around in the memories of those who have lived here all their lives. We call upon all kinds of Ghent experts to help us improve our understanding of the city, its heritage, its past and present

Ghent Mapped for the public is ready in february 2022

Ghent Mapped is an interactive platform under constructionent by the Boekentoren, Archief Gent, STAM Gent, Erfgoedcel Gent, Huis van Alijn, Industriemuseum, Amsab-Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Liberas en het Ghent Center for Digital Humanities. Take a look at our demo.

Why Ghent Mapped?

The knowledge about the city and its heritage is scattered in libraries, museums, archives, services, associations and living rooms. If we combine all these gleanings, we will hopefully arrive at a deeper, better, more layered, different, (in)view of the city and its past. The time is ripe to take that step: both in terms of digital possibilities and collections, and in terms of human cooperation within the city.

But Ghent Mapped is not just a goal. We are listening to what all sorts of Ghent researchers and enthusiasts expect from such an interactive platform. Which history and collections do we want to expose and how? How can a digital platform support the other activities and public activities? How can it help make existing knowledge and collections known? How can it raise questions and stimulate new neighbourhood research?

Who is Ghent Mapped for?

For inhabitants of Ghent and Ghent lovers, of course. For anyone trying to understand the city, the neighbourhood or the street. For neighbourhood researchers who want to get an overview and information quickly, and for tips on sources and books. For those who can’t get enough of maps. For anyone who likes to help open up the city’s heritage. For all those Ghent experts who want to share their view of the city and its past.

For the museums, archives, libraries and heritage associations that want to make their collections accessible. Via Gent Gemapt, they can experiment with new methods of presentation, registration and participation.

Euhm, how do you build it?

The technical story is a cocktail of IIIF, Omeka, MADOC, Neatline, an urban gazetteer… Quite complex, so we take our time to figure things out, develop and test them. We first test it out for the neighbourhood of the Krook.

The heritage presented is primarily a selection from the collections of the libraries, archives and museums that are partners in this project. We know that these collections have been properly digitised, described and are free of copyright. But it doesn’t have to stop there, and the more that is digitised, the more connections we can make…

For the places and their descriptions, Gent Gemapt builds on STAM’s offline museum application from 2010. We are expanding and complementing that data model and the list of places.

However, Gent Gemapt is mainly a people’s work. Together with the partners, we are looking for ways in which the knowledge and views of all sorts of Ghent people and Ghent experts can be given a place on the platform.


Do you have an idea to work together?

Do you want to help behind the scenes?

Do you have suggestions to add to the place list?

Would you like to comment on the test version?

Do you have a question or an opinion?

Mail Fien
Fien Danniau, coordinator of Ghent Mapped
Ghent Center for Digital Humanities

Who is behind Ghent Mapped?

Ghent Mapped/Gent Gemapt is a team effort of developers, heritage workers and public historians at de Boekentoren, Archief Gent, STAM Gent, Erfgoedcel Gent, Huis van Alijn, Industriemuseum, Amsab-Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Liberas en het Ghent Centre for Digital Humanities. Development and coordination is done at the GhentCDH of Ghent University.

Ghent Gemapt is funded by a project grant for cultural heritage cooperation from Flanders and by an investment from CLARIAH-Flanders – Open Humanities Service Infrastructure.

The project started in September 2020 and will last until August 2023. After three years, Ghent Gemapt will pass to the partners.

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