Lausanne Time Machine

Lausanne Time Machine initiative

Launched by the College of Humanities at EPFL and UNIL, with the support of the dhCenter UNIL-EPFL and Time Machine Europe, the Lausanne Time Machine Initiative aims to federate current, past and future research concerning Lausanne region around common standards and technologies. Lausanne Time Machine initiative aims to bring together Research Institutions, Heritage Institutions, the Municipality, stakeholders and citizens for promoting cultural heritage digital projects.

The Lausanne Time Machine is part of the international Time Machine project. Supported by the European community, this project currently involves nearly 500 institutions and includes other similar projects on a European scale –the Local Time Machines– coordinated in order to define a common roadmap for the coming years.

Like the other Local Time Machines, the Lausanne Time Machine initiative aims to bring together research laboratories, heritage institutions and actors from the private world, as well as to federate citizen communities around these objectives of densification and de-fragmentation of territorial information. To this end, the Lausanne initiative benefits from all the methodological and technological innovations developed within the framework of the European Time Machine project by institutions working in other cities in the network.

The Lausanne Time Machine is organized in parallel projects focusing on different aspects of the territory but sharing common methodologies, technologies and standards. It also includes projects for the re-documentation of the territory’s databases, which are currently incompatible with other information systems.

The projects developed within the framework of a collaboration between EPFL and Unil are divided into six topics: the city and its territory, population, heritage, iconography, textual sources and audiovisual sources.

Each topic thus includes different projects articulated by coordinators. The objective is to federate the existing projects by allowing and facilitating the communication of research results and exchanges between researchers from the two institutions. The aim is to promote the development of new research projects by creating the necessary conditions for a true exchange of knowledge and technologies around transversal and interdisciplinary themes. Beneficial at all levels, the discussion and implementation of common methodologies and tools will notably allow the optimization of the acquisition and interoperability of research data. The Lausanne Time Machine initiative also aims to encourage young researchers to propose research themes and to valorize the studies carried out during their thesis or post-doctorate projects. The research in progress and the results already obtained can be the subject of teaching courses and seminars. An EPFL-Unil joint course called Digital urban history : Lausanne Time Machine is taught since 2020 is also the opportunity to present and implement different interdisciplinary approaches around the topics addressed.