Recenly I came across this interesting TED talk by Frederic Kaplan who is the Digital Humanities Chair at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the EPFL’s Digital Humanities Lab Director. In a fun and interesting talk Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project to digitize 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1000 years.
The project ambitions to reconstruct a large open access database that could be used for research and education. The Venice Time Machine will give the archives a new, virtual existence on the Web. It will reanimate Venice’s past life from them by re-creating social networks and family trees, and visualising urban development and design. An open digital archive of Venetian treasures will provide an entirely new research environment. Think of it as a Google Maps for time.