gahetNA in the National Archives

Matching Maps project

Matching Maps

VOC chart

Help us locate the VOC maps on the map of the world

The World of the VOC & Matching Maps

Nationaal Archief (the Dutch National Archives) will open its doors in February 2017 for an exhibition, titled “The World of the East India Company”.

The VOC is the Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (the Dutch East India Company, 1602-1800). Approximately 50 original VOC maps will be exhibited and you will be able to view hundreds of maps that have been digitised. The original maps were made for the East India Company or used by the company.

We are looking for volunteers who are prepared to help us over the following months with the ‘Matching Maps’ project, making these scanned maps easier to find. We wish to georeference these charts, so that we can link the present with the past. Georeferencing is the process of fixing the location of a map, such that the internal coordinate system of this map can be related to a ground system of geographic coordinates. A georeferenced (old) map can then be laid over a modern map.

Indian Ocean

How does georeferencing work?

Georeferencing means giving geographic reference points to objects such as scanned maps. This enables the projection of these maps onto a digital map such as Google Earth.

Nationaal Archief uses a georeference tool for this task, a program in which any person is able to make geographic references. For a more detailed explanation click on the link below.

Interested in taking part?

In that case press the link below, sign-in and you can start straight away.
Step 1: Study the historical map on the left hand side and try to find out roughly which region is depicted.

Step 2: Search the digital map on the right hand side to find where this area is located.

Step 3: Click your mouse on a recognisable spot on the historic map and click the same spot on the digital map. Repeat this at least three times. The more spots are clicked and the more these are placed near the edge of the historic map, the more accurate the superposition will be.

Step 4: Click on ‘save’. You can see the result by pressing on 'visualise' and if needed enter some more spots or move these. When you have finished, you can continue with the next map. is a website of the National Archives of The Netherlands in cooperation with the Society for the National Archives and Spaarnestad Photo.
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