Open Source Time and Space


How to build a Space/Time Directory?

I'm Bert Spaan!
How did my street look in the 1920s?
On which cemetery are my ancestors buried?
Do you have maps of my house around 1900?
Our search engine:
The NYPL has the materials (and librarians!) you need to answer those questions - however, this is not so easy...
First step: digitization
Next step: extracting data
Last step: bringing it all together
NYC Space/Time Directory
Combine NYPL's collections and data — through space and time!
NYC Space/Time Directory = NYPL data + external datasets + databases + APIs + search + geo + RDF + open source + digitization + crowdsourcing + community
Goals: open data, plain JSON files, for everyone to download
Goals: APIs, open source, search tools, user interfaces
Goals: tools that allow people to tell new stories about NYC's history
New crowdsourcing tools — geotag our collection
220,000 photos in Digital Collections, and new ones added every day
Example: who lived where in 1854?
Georectified maps + Building Inspector + OCR'd city directory = graph of addresses & people
One database with all NYPL Space/Time data
Example: maps by decade
More examples!
Soon: try machine learning to parse business directories, more label + feature extraction from maps


Stay in touch:
Bert Spaan - @bertspaan