Uva letter of support

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Support is requested from OSGeo for a grant a proposal to the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). Purpose of the grant is the implemention of the "Historical Basemap of the Netherlands", a seamless, cadastral map of the whole country, based on the 17.000 original cadastral maps from 1832. The resulting seamless map will have a resolution of 10 cm, and an accuracy of at most 10 meters outside towns and villages and 5 meters inside. The results will be available as Open Data and Services for governmental and private organisations.

The project has four main parts:

- Georeferencing the 17.000 scanned maps with the required accuracy. This is a major challenge, as the individual maps have been measured each within a local coordinate system, which makes it hard to join them together

- Vectorising the georeferenced scans, importing the cadastral registers into a database and coupling them together

- Pilots to georeference all other historical maps in the Netherlands. There are hundreds of thousands of pre-1800 maps in archives and libraries, with very different scales, content and accuracy. At the moment they are very difficult to georeference, as the modern landscape has been changed during the last fifty years, and has become almost unrecognizable compared with the historical situation. The Cadastral Basemap will become the ultimate tool for georeferencing historical maps, and also all other kinds of location bound historical data

- Creating ways and protocols to access the maps. The first goal is, of course, a viewer to browse the map, superimposed on Google Maps and other modern topographical maps. The most important goal, however, is to offer the map as services, in the first place a WMS service, later on also WFS and other services, to make it possible to link to other data. A major goal of the project is to enable all kinds of organisations, governmental and private, to implement the maps transparently into their own Content Management Systems, either as mashups, or as Cloud based services. This will become especially important as the other historical maps will become available as Web Services. Their diversity will enable organisations on all levels to enhance their web sites with magnificent, interactive mapping material.

About half of the country has already been done, based on small-scaled grants from provinces and municipalities (hisgis.nl), but this will require quite a bit of correction and adaptation.

The project will be financed by the Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (http://www.nwo.nl/en). A subsidy request is being made for 3 million euro for a period of 5 years by the Universities of Groningen and Amsterdam and the Fryske Akademy. It is the kind of project that could not be done by commercial providers, and not even by the big governmental agencies like the Cadastre or the Cultural Heritage Agency . Those two agencies and the National Archive do participate in the project, however. A letter of Support from OSGeo would certainly improve the chances of receiving the grant, as the project will deliver a considerable amount of Open Data and Services, probably larger than any other in the world. Moreover, the project will be implemented for a large part with OSGeo software (mapserver, postgis, qgis, gdal etc).