New York, USA

Bert Spaan

Director Engineer, NY Public Library

Bert is a software engineer and cartographer, working at the New York Public Library. At the NYPL, he works on the NYC Space/Time Directory, a project which aims to turn historical maps and photos from the Library's collections into a digital time-travel service. Bert studied computer science at Utrecht University and cartography at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and wrote his master's thesis on geometric algorithms during an internship at TomTom in Amsterdam. Before moving to New York City, Bert lived in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he worked for Waag Society, a non-profit research institute for arts, science and technology.

details about the talk

The NYC Space/Time Directory

The NYC Space/Time Directory is a project of The New York Public Library which turns historical maps, street photos, city directories and other geographic sources from the Library's collection into a digital time-travel service for New York City. How did my street look in the 1920s? Who lived on 150 Bowery in 1850? Are there maps of Long Island City in 1900? The NYC Space/Time Directory will make answering questions like this easier, using open data, search APIs, data visualizations, and crowdsourcing tools.