Artemis. Advanced Research Tools for Environmental studies in an open Mapping Infrastructure for historical maps of the Scheldt valley.

01 May 2024 → 30 April 2028
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Archival, repository and related sciences
    • Landscape and ecological history
  • Natural sciences
    • Computer vision
  • Engineering and technology
    • Cartography
    • Geospatial information systems
Automated extraction of visual content IIIF and Linked Open Data Research Infrastructure Historical handwritten and printed maps
Project description

Historical maps are not only unique heritage objects but also containers of precious data on the
evolution of the cultural and natural landscape. From the 16th century onwards, in present-day
Belgium, handwritten local maps were produced in great numbers, followed by the famous Ferraris
and printed Vandermaelen map series, as well as large numbers of large or medium scale cadastral
maps. What is left of this unique heritage is dispersed over public and private collections, making
users of digital historical maps struggle to use these maps to their full potential.
Artemis is convinced that this wealth of detailed maps and map series has great potential to
investigate landscapes, their evolution over time and their possible future(s) - a potential that could
be used in varying fields of research such as Historical Geography, Ecology (biodiversity and water
management) and Spatial Planning. Artemis aims to process, digitally enrich, make available and
valorize well-defined corpora of both handwritten and printed maps before ca. 1880, using state of
the art extraction techniques - as automated localization, toponym recognition and (landscape)
feature extraction - with in finality, publication in a IIIF-enabled Linked Open Data Research
Infrastructure. The project joins forces of both the University of Antwerp and Ghent University,
backed up by the main Belgian map collection holders (ARA/KBR/NGI), focussing on the Scheldt
River Valley which connects Antwerp to Ghent.