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The Petroleumscape Database: Spaces in The Netherlands 1886-2015

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posted on 07.05.2020 by Carola Hein, M. (Mohamad) Sedighi, T. (Thomas) Van den Brink
The goal of the database is to see how oil related infrastructure—as defined by Carola Hein through the concept of the global petroleumscape (Hein, C. "Oil Spaces: The Global Petroleumscape in the Rotterdam/the Hague Area." Journal of Urban History 44, no. 5 (2018): 887–929. );—has influenced urbanization in the Netherlands. It consists of petroleum related structures: industrial, gas stations, administrative headquarters, research centres, but also infrastructures. Apart from data on physical petroleum-related structures, it also sporadically includes elements related to intangible events that are important in the history of oil in the Netherlands. Together, these provide insight into ongoing research on the global petroleumscape at the Chair History of Architecture and Urban Planning. The information was collected from several sources: - Telephone guides: 40% - Archives: 30% - Literature: 20% - Internet: 10% Throughout the project, much effort has been put into relating the historical information to concrete physical locations as precisely (in a geographical sense) as possible. This means in particular that house numbers were included as much as possible. The original database was created in Excel, and was used as input for the ESRI Geocoding tool, in AcrMap 10.3, meant for converting addresses to x-y coordinates. This process resulted in different values of matching. Therefore only the features with a 93% match or higher were kept. 4006 out of 4499 have a 100% match. The GIS database was converted to shapefiles to enable easy and robust exchange. Since the data applies to the Netherlands, the chosen coordinate system is: Rijksdriekhoestel (nieuw). We continue to update the database by upgrading the residue from the Excel sheet (those that dropped below the 93% match while geocoding), adding more petroleum-related data and improving the existing data regarding both content and geographical precession.



TU Delft, Faculty of Architecture and Built Environment, Chair History of Architecture and Urban Planning


4TU.Centre for Research Data

Time coverage



The Netherlands


Shapefiles media types: application/octet-stream, application/zip, text/plain