The Budapest Time Machine online platform does not just enable retrieving historical data, but also navigating in space and time via interactive maps, with quick and simple crossing through different time sections. We can study the transformation of the city, search for old locations, and gain access to archival sources related to the history and inhabitants of the individual plots and houses. The Budapest Time Machine online platform is supported by the huge database of the Hungaricana Cultural Heritage Portal, which contains millions of pages of digitalized source-material about the residents and buildings of the city, providing large amount of data related to exact places and dates. Our aim is – with gradual development – to make all these available in an easy, quick, and entertaining way with the help of historical maps.
In the Budapest Time Machine platform / Maps application, there are four different time sections (1837, 1873, 1908, 1937) in which the transformation of the city’s structure can be studied by the assistance of vectorized maps made by the contemporary available most detailed high resolution maps. On the maps of different ages you can search simultaneously for all the names (streets, squares, quarters, buildings, etc.) from different ages occurring on the maps. The results are signed by red indication on the map, clicking on the list, the view of the map jumps on the proper object.
In the Budapest Time Machine platform / Documents application, we can reach the sources related to the individual real estates. On the map if you click on the lot number – which is signed on the land – the historical topographical description of the land opens (if included in the Topography database) and photos related to the area appear, as well as links to archival sources. Using the setting options available under the Historical maps inscription, we can change easily the map of today’s street map (OpenStreetMap) or any georeferenced historical map as a base map, but we can also choose the vectorized version of these, known from the Budapest Time Machine platform / Map section. By setting the “slider”, we can make the old map “transparent”, so that we can compare it with the today’s state.
On the page, aerial photographs of Budapest in 1944 are also available. In April 1944, the Hungarian Royal Air Force, after a few days since the first major bombings by the Allied forces, made photographs of the bombed districts of Budapest from low altitudes. The negatives of roughly 550 aerial photographs have been researchable until recently in the Military History Archives. These materials have become available thanks to the efforts of Arcanum and Fortepan with precision assembling, cutting of excesses, reduction of deformations and georeferencing.
- Ybl Miklós Faculty of Architecture and Civil Engineering at Óbuda University