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Dossier: Wrecks in databases

Several databases can be found online which describe a part of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Netherlands and beyond. 

MACHU Geographic Information System (GIS)

MACHU GIS was developed within the MACHU-project as a tool to exchange and explore Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) information. As a GIS (Geographic Information System), MACHU GIS offers the possibility to combine heritage information with other specific area related subjects, such as site research data, environmental data, legislative information and historic maps. 

MACHU GIS contains a number of standard map layers (web map services) provided by MACHU partners and third parties. Users can extend these map layers with new map layers for personal use. For instance to examine possible threads to specific UCH-sites. 

Through the (sensitive) nature of the information (in particular the exact positions of sites), this application is only available for the scientific community and professional maritime stakeholders. Users have to register themselves first in order to obtain access. 

The archaeology layer is based on information from the MoSS master management plan. A management plan could be seen as a collection of information-elements that applies to an archaeological object (or site). A selection of these information-elements (as described by the fields of the shapefile) forms the archaeology layer that can be presented and questioned by the GIS.


MACHU Wrecks in Situ (WIS)

Wrecks in Situ is a database of stories about wrecks and sites underwater. Wreck in Situ is an applications were everyone who is interested and has information on Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) can make wreck ID’s. WIS gives historic and archaeological information.

About status and preservation of sites and wrecks. In a record it is possible to add pictures, maps, drawings and movies. In this way a wreck ID can give a complete picture of a wreck in its archaeological and historic environment. It is not intended to give exact positions.


MACHU Wrecks in Documents (WID)

The database Wrecks in Documents (WID) contains information on more than 400 sunken vessels in the region of the Dutch island Texel in the period 1595-1795 AD. 

It is the result of a project intiated by the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed)  to combine maritime archaeological information and historical knowledge. The content of the WID-database is derived from a large group of sources ranging from salvage documents, acts of the provincial government, notarial records, insurance papers and contemporary and recent literature. 


Dutch Asiatic Shipping (DAS)

This database presents a virtually complete survey of the direct shipping between the Netherlands and Asia between 1595-1795. This period contains, first, the voyages of the so-called Voorcompagnieën and, then, those for and under control of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC). The survey ends in 1795. The VOC itself was disbanded in 1798.