All 9,866,539 buildings in the netherlands-but where is the Zuiderzee?

I love this sort of thing, the combination of data and interactivity. Here you can see the location of every building in Amsterdam, and all of the Netherlands, color coded by the year it was built. Zoom in and out, and take a trip across the Netherlands. Marleen Smit, Map Historian and Communications Advisor for the Special Collections at the University of Amsterdam, showed me this map when we met for coffee a couple of weeks ago.

Marleen pointed out that one area of the Netherlands is very very new – Flevoland, to the east of Amsterdam. This land was created within the last several decades. When I was a kid, in grade school, we had a lesson about how “Holland” created new land by draining the sea with a series of dykes, canals, and of course windmills. I remember learning about the “Zuiderzee,” the body of water in “Holland” that had to be kept at bay. I really found it fascinating then and now. I actually looked for the Zuiderzee on current maps, but it’s not there. Now it is Flevoland, new land made from the Zuiderzee. The buildings in Flevoland are all shades of blue, the color given to the newest construction.

The former Zuiderzee, east of Amsterdam, which is mostly reds and oranges.

The map was created by Bert Spaan, (currently a Space/Time Directory Engineer with the New York Public Library) with data from BAG*/Kadaster. This Amsterdam map is inspired by a similar Brooklyn building map, created by Thomas Rhiel.

I may have to visit Bert when I get back to New York.


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