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Volunteers make almost 7,000 maps accessible for public

With the help of the public, almost 7,000 digitised maps of the Dutch East Indies have recently become accessible for the public. The University Library is organising a festive get-together on 17 November to thank the volunteers.

The old maps were part of the collection of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies (KITLV), the archives of which are now held by the Leiden University Library.  The maps had already been digitised, but had not been matched with the modern topographical maps in Google Maps. The material is now more readily usable for teaching and research. 


Using crowdsourcing, almost 7,000 old maps of the Dutch East Indies have now been provided with a georeference. Anyone who was interested in contributing could add a new location to the old maps by making use of a special application. This application projects a scan of an old map beside a modern version of the same area in Google Maps. If the volunteers matched the old map correctly, the georeferenced map would be superimposed on the modern version in Google Maps.

Public meeting

During the public meeting on 17 November the initiators of the project want to thank the volunteers for their contribution. They will also announce the names of the ten volunteers who had processed the most maps. 


If you are interested in attending the meeting on 17 November, please register via aanmelding@library.leidenuniv.nl (mentioning: Maps in the Crowd) or by telephone via the secretariat: 071-5272832.

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