Questions on Local Time Machines

Frequently Asked Questions

This page lists the most common questions related to the Local Time Machines and Local Time Machine Projects. An overview of basic information can also be found in the corresponding

If you have further questions, please send us a message on our contact page.

What is the difference between a Local Time Machine and a Local Time Machine Project?

Local Time Machines (LTMs) are defined in the dedicated RfC as ‘areas characterised by density of operations’. This means that an LTM corresponds to a specific geographic area (usually, a municipality) where our map detects a number of activities aimed at reconstructing the past. These activities correspond to the sum of all the individual Local Time Machine Projects (LTM Projects) which focus on that same area. Each Local Time Machine has a name assigned by the system, based on the name of the corresponding municipality (for instance: ‘Amsterdam Time Machine’ is the name of the LTM of the city of Amsterdam). Each Local Time Machine Project has its own individual name, depending on the name of the project (for instance: ‘Living with Water in Amsterdam’).

Can I create a Local Time Machine on the platform?

No, you cannot create a Local Time Machine on our platform; you can only register one (or more) Local Time Machine Project(s), while Local Time Machines are created automatically by the system.

In fact, when you register on our platform a Local Time Machine Project which focuses on a particular GeoEntity (city, site, region), you are effectively laying the first brick for the development of the corresponding Local Time Machine. As more projects and institutions which work on the same GeoEntity are registered onto our platform, the corresponding Local Time Machine will be more and more active and effective in reconstructing the past of that particular place.

How is a Local Time Machine organised at local level?

TMO does not impose a single coordination structure or governance model to manage all the Local Time Machine Projects that are active in a specific area. All those involved in the various projects and activities, through their organisational charts, can in any case converge towards a community, which will therefore have an autonomous logic of structuring and functioning that emerges locally. In some cases, such communities give themselves a more formal structure and governance by creating consortia at local level. These consortia, labelled in accordance with TMO after the name of the corresponding Local Time Machine, can coordinate specific actions (for instance, apply for funding to set up a common technical infrastructure) or organize events to engage local stakeholders and audiences. TMO welcomes and supports these developments through the activities of the LTMs Coordination Team.

Can I edit a Local Time Machine?

Not directly. However, if you update the page of your Local Time Machine Project with new information (e.g. results, new partners, datasets, events…), or if you register a new project focusing on a GeoEntity where a Local Time Machine already exists, then the corresponding Local Time Machine webpage will be automatically updated with the new information made available through the project(s).

Do I have to be a Time Machine Organisation (TMO) member to propose a Local Time Machine Project?

Yes, if you are a patrimonial institution, research institute, or company, you should first become a TMO member. If you are a private person or individual researcher, you can first sign up as a TMO supporter, and then propose your project as a non-institutional / private LTM project.

Can my project be called ‘(Name of City) Time Machine’?

No. This label is reserved to Local Time Machines and should be avoided by individual Local Time Machine Projects.

My institution would like to participate to a Local Time Machine but we are not located in the city corresponding to that Local Time Machine. What can we do?

Local Time Machine Projects can be proposed by any institution that has a project (ongoing or already concluded) focusing on any GeoEntity, independently of where the institution itself is located.

If my project studies a large object or area, in which Local Time Machine will it be included?

In principle, you should be as specific as possible with regards to the places for which your project will produce data. Therefore, if your project studies Hadrian’s Wall, in the field ‘Related Places’ you should manually select all the Municipalities that host a section of the Wall. The project will then become part of all the Local Time Machines of those Municipalities. If you decide to only select a broader area (e.g. a region) — for instance, because it is not (yet) possible to specify all the individual Municipalities for which your project will generate data — then the project will still be displayed on the map, but the system will not attribute it to any Local Time Machine.

If my project focuses exclusively on the development of tools or infrastructure, instead of data about a place, can I still propose it as a Local Time Machine Project?

Even though these projects do not contribute data that can be integrated in the Time Machine, they are still important for the development of Big Data of the Past. Please feel free to register your project on our platform. In the field ‘Related Places’ on the registration form, you can select the location of your institution’s headquarters.

I am a company that develops tools or infrastructure. Can I make my services visible on the Local Time Machine Project platform?

Yes, because these services are of high interest to the members of the Time Machine community. Please feel free to register your projects on our platform. In the field ‘Related Places’ on the registration form, you can select the location of your institution’s headquarters. TMO will put your expertise at the service of the network and allow members to be informed about the types of European-wide services that can be competitive and cutting edge for different needs.