TomTom helps show off Amsterdam's rich mapmaking history, and future, in museum exhibition
Editorial team·Feb 22, 2023

TomTom helps show off Amsterdam's rich mapmaking history, and future, in museum exhibition

Editorial team
TomTom Blog
Feb 22, 2023 · 3 min read
Amsterdam's mapmaking history and future | TomTom Newsroom

TomTom is partnering with an Amsterdam-based museum to shine a light on the city's rich history of mapmaking and turn our gaze towards its future.

It's quite serendipitous when you think about it. TomTom, a geolocation tech company and one of the world's most prominent mapmakers, being based in Amsterdam. The Dutch capital has, for hundreds of years, been a global mapmaking hub. And that story continues today, with TomTom leading the charge.

From March 2 to July 16, 2023 (the exhibition has now been extended to August 20, 2023), the Allard Pierson, in Amsterdam, will be telling this story with the support of TomTom as part of its Maps Unfolded: From Atlas to Street Map exhibition.

The Allard Pierson's Maps Unfolded exhibition explores the historic and continued importance of Amsterdam as a global mapmaking hub.

The Allard Pierson houses and maintains the Amsterdam map and atlas collection, a trove of some 135,000 loose maps, 4,500 atlases and a number of globes. Many of which were made in Amsterdam as the city's cartography industry boomed in the 17th century.

For its exhibition, the museum's curators are picking the best of the collection to demonstrate the important role Amsterdam has played, and continues to play, in global mapmaking.

The display reveals an enormous and diverse collection of maps from the 15th century and tells the stories behind them

Maps on display include those made by the likes of Blaeu, Ortelius, Ptolemaeus and Bos. Maps Unfolded also pays particular attention to Indonesia, Suriname and the Antilles. Old and more recent maps provide valuable insight into colonial relationships and how they've been interpreted over time.

The Allard Pierson, situated in Rokin, Amsterdam. The museum is home to one of the world's most varied and important map and atlas collections. Credit: Wikimedia CC.

The final stop on this journey through mapmaking's history will be with TomTom. The modern-day mapmaker will show off how maps have evolved from paper documents and artistic works, to become rich and hyper-detailed digital representations of the world around us. The display shows off modern cartographic techniques that are crucial for creating dynamic and constantly updating maps.

Drs. Reinder Storm, one of the events curators and a specialist of the Amsterdam map collection, says it's no coincidence that Amsterdam remains significant in the landscape of global mapmaking.

It's long been a place of trade and diversity, bringing together people from all over the world, he says. This brought the skills, knowledge and experience needed to map the world with great accuracy. With TomTom based in Amsterdam, that seems to still be the case today.

Maps Unfolded is made possible thanks to the following partners, sponsors and funds:Royal Dutch Geographical Society, TomTom, Noordhoff, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, Stichting Kramer/Lems, Jansonius Fonds, Amsterdam University Fund, Hendrik Muller Fonds, Janivo Stichting, M.O.A.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting.

Update, June 14, 2023, 1430UTC: The article was updated to include the new end date of the exhibition which was recently extended.

People also read

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom launch Overture foundation
behind the map

TomTom, Amazon Web Services, Meta and Microsoft join forces and launch open map data foundation

Amazon Web Services, Meta, Microsoft and TomTom have come together, as founding members, to form the Overture Maps Foundation, an open-data project that aims to build “reliable, easy-to-use and interoperable open map data.” The Overture Foundation is being established under the Linux Foundation, which first shared the news yesterday, and will define a new standard for mapmaking. With this news, TomTom galvanizes the next phase of its plan to build “the smartest map on the planet.”
Dec 16, 2022·9 mins read
The future of mapmaking - TomTom Orbis Maps | TomTom Newsroom
behind the map

The world needs a better map: TomTom is making it with its new Orbis Maps and ecosystem

Today, at its investor meeting, TomTom made one of the most significant announcements in its 30-year history. The geolocation tech specialist and mapmaking company is launching a new map, mapping platform and ecosystem, which the company is collectively calling the TomTom Orbis Maps. TomTom says it will set a new standard for mapmaking, one designed to support a future of innovative location-based tech and will lay the foundation for industry-wide open collaboration.
Nov 02, 2022·11 mins read
London is the world's slowest city | TomTom Newsroom
explainers and insights

London is the world's slowest city: A closer look at the data

The TomTom Traffic Index numbers are in. In this edition, London takes the top spot as one of the world’s busiest and most expensive cities for drivers. But it's also the slowest city on the planet.
Feb 15, 2023·5 mins read
Cars of the Future will be Defined by Their Software | TomTom Newsroom
explainers and insights

Cars of the future will be defined by their software

Electric vehicles (EVs) are being developed as a tool to reduce automotive CO2 emissions and tackle climate change. As vehicles move from being mechanical tools to complex pieces of electrically powered technology, we’re witnessing possibly the biggest industrial shift of our generation. Where vehicle development once focused on mechanics, it will now have to focus on software.
Nov 04, 2021·7 mins read
Never miss a story
Get the latest news from TomTom in your inbox.

* Required field. By submitting your contact details to TomTom, you agree that we can contact you about marketing offers, newsletters, or to invite you to webinars and events. We could further personalize the content that you receive via cookies. You can unsubscribe at any time by the link included in our emails. Review our privacy policy.