Ashkan Ashkpour, PhD.

Data Architect · Scientific Researcher · Harmonization · Linked Data · Co-Founder

Starting his scientific career as a Master in Economics and Informatics at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam he continued to work in a highly interdisciplinary environment during his PhD and Post-doc projects at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) , more specifically at the cross-borders of Social Sciences and Computer Science, often referred to as the Digital Humanities. His research interests span from data harmonization and modelling, ontologies and classification systems, to Linked Open Data, Semantic Web technologies and Data Management. Currently working as a Senior Data Architect for the city of Delft, developing a cohesive and generic data model for all municipalities in the Netherlands to use, being awarded with the Dutch national price "GemeenteDelers 2022" for this work.


Senior Data Architect

City of Delft

Enterprise Data Architecture. Primarily responsible for the Dutch Municipal Data Model (i.e. het Gemeentelijke Gegevensmodel), a generic and integrated (national) data model and standard for all municipal data in the Netherlands.

Post-doc Researcher


Worked in various Linked Data related projects in the CLARIAH group with a focus on knowledge representation and data integration across time and space.

PhD Researcher

Erasmus University Rotterdam, IISH

The topic of my PhD research was the ‘theory and practice of data harmonization using Linked Data technologies’ with specific focus on the evolution and harmonization of historical Dutch census data.

Research Member

Erasmus Studio

Success factors and bottlenecks of the Virtual Knowledge Studio (VKS) Collaboratory: A workflow based analysis.

Technical Consultant


Enterprise Content Management System

Video Production

929 Productions

Co-founder and creative director. Scenario writing, editing, camera operator, After Effects


Doctor of Philosophy, PhD

Historical Census Data Harmonization using Linked Data Technologies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, IISH

Master of Science, MSc

Economics & Informatics, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Bachelor of Information and Communication Technology

Bedrijfskundige Informatica, Inholland University of Applied Sciences


Research Output:


GGM Roundtable: Informatiegestuurd werken in de praktijk - GGM en Microsoft Azure



VNG kennisnetwerk - Samen versnellen door een gemeenschappelijke taal voor gegevens



Winnaar GemeenteDelers 2022 - Het Gemeentelijk Gegevensmodel (een gezamenlijk datafundament voor alle gemeenten)



VNG Grant Innovatiefonds innovatieve projecten gemeenten - doorontwikkeling van het GGM in samenwerking

OpenGazAm: Linked Open Data Gazetteer of the Early-Modern Americas Database. Stapel, Rombert; Ashkpour, Ashkan



KDP Grant DANS - Subsidie Kleine dataprojecten - data classification platform

Diamonds in Borneo: Commodities as Concepts in Context, presented by A. Ashkpour at DATeCH (2019), Brussels Belgium

A Centralized Data Classification Platform: Exploration and Contribution of Knowledge Systems. Presented in Session: Overcoming Limitations in Big Data at SSHA in Chicago (2019).

Ashkan Ashkpour. “Theory and Practice of Historical Census Data Harmonization. The Dutch Historical Census Use Case: A flexible, structured and accountable approach using Linked Data. Erasmus University (2019). PhD Thesis.



Ashkan Ashkpour, Albert Meroño-Peñuela. “LOCS AND KEYS: Linked Open Classification System and Opening up Knowledge”. In: European Social Science History Conference (ESSHC 2018), 4-7 April, Belfast, North Ireland, UK (2018)

Albert Meroño-Peñuela, Ashkan Ashkpour, Valentijn Gilissen, Jan Jonker, Tom Vreugdenhil, Peter Doorn. “Improving Access to the Dutch Historical Censuses with Linked Open Data”. Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences (in print) (2018)


KDP Grant DANS - Subsidie Kleine dataprojecten - contemporary census data enrichment

Linking past and present: Augmenting historical municipality characteristics through harmonization and linkage with contemporary data.

Ashkan Ashkpour, Albert Meroño-Peñuela. “LICR: a cocktail of religions" at the session: Challenges in Historical Data Linkage and Classification”. In: 42nd Annual Meeting of the Social Science History Association (SSHA), Montreal, Canada (2017)



Ashkpour, A., Mandemakers, K., & Boonstra, O. W. A. (2016). Source Oriented Harmonization of Aggregate Historical Census Data: a flexible and accountable approach in RDF. Historical Social Research. 41(4) pp. 296-307


Ashkpour, A. (Developer), & Meroño-Peñuela, A. (Developer). (2016). Geharmoniseerde Historische Census Data - 1859-1920. DOI: 10.17026/dans-z9j-x2vy [Dataset]


Meroño-Peñuela, A. (Developer), Ashkpour, A. (Developer), & Guéret, C. D. M. (Developer). (2016). CEDAR RDF DATABASE, THE DUTCH HISTORICAL CENSUSES (1795-1971) AS LINKED OPEN DATA. Data Archiving and Networked Services (DANS).DOI: 10.17026/dans-xpk-wj5w [Dataset]


Ashkpour, A., Meroño-Peñuela, A., & Mandemakers, K. (2016). Harmonizing Aggregate Historical Dutch Census Data: a Flexible Approach. Paper presented at European Social Science History conference, Valencia.


Meroño-Peñuela, A., & Ashkpour, A. (2016). Historical Quantitative Reasoning on the Web. Paper presented at European Social Science History conference, Valencia.



Ashkpour, A., Meroño-Peñuela, A., & Mandemakers, K. (2015). The Aggregate Dutch Historical Censuses. Harmonization and RDF. Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History, 48(4), 530-545. DOI: 10.1080/01615440.2015.1026009


Meroño-Peñuela, A., Ashkpour, A., Guéret, C. D. M., Scharnhorst, A. M., & Wyatt, S. (2015). CEDAR: Linked Open Census Data: Project Statement. DH Commons Journal, 1(1).


Meroño-Peñuela, A., Ashkpour, A., Guéret, C. D. M., & Schlobach, S. (2015). CEDAR: The Dutch Historical Censuses as Linked Open Data. Semantic Web Journal.



Ashkpour, A, Merono-Penuela, A & Mandemakers, CA 2014, 'CEDAR: Harmonization of Historical Dutch Census Data' ESSHC Vienna 2014, 01/01/2014, .


Ashkpour, A & Meroño-Peñuela, A, Census Data in RDF, 2014, Data set.


Ashkpour, A & Meroño-Peñuela, A 2014, 'The CEDAR Project: Harmonizing the Dutch Historical censuses in the Semantic Web' Digital Humanities Benelux 2014, The Hague, 12/06/2014, .


Ashkpour, A & Meroño-Peñuela, A 2014, 'Vizualizations of the CEDAR Project' Digital Humanities Benelux conference, The Hague, Netherlands, 12/06/2014 - 13/06/2014, .


Meroño-Peñuela, A, Ashkpour, A & Guéret, C 2014, 'From Flat Lists to Taxonomies : Bottom-up Concept Scheme Generation in Linked Statistical Data Bottom-up Construction of Concept Schemes' Paper presented at 2nd International Workshop on Semantic Statistics (SemStats 2014), Riva del Garda, Italy, 19/10/2014, .


Meroño-Peñuela, A & Ashkpour, A 2014, 'From Napoleon Conquests to the Big Brother Sabotage : Harmonization of the Dutch Historical Censuses in the Semantic Web' Digital Humanities Congress 2014, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom, 04/09/2014 - 06/09/2014, .


Meroño-Peñuela, A & Ashkpour, A 2014, 'Integrating Historical Census Data in the Semantic Web' Historical Network Research Conference, Ghent, Ghent, Belgium, 15/09/2014 - 19/09/2014, .


Meroño-Peñuela, A, Ashkpour, A, van Erp, M, Mandemakers, K, Breure, L, Scharnhorst, A, Schlobach, S & van Harmelen, F 2014, 'Semantic Technologies for Historical Research: A Survey' Semantic Web Journal, pp. 1.



Meroño-Peñuela, A, Ashkpour, A, Rietveld, L, Hoekstra, R & Schlobach, S 2013, 'Linked Humanities Data: The Next Frontier? A Case-study in Historical Census Data'. in T Kauppinen & LC Pouchard (eds), Proceedings of the 2nd International Workshop on Linked Science 2012 (LISC2012) – Tackling Big Data. Boston, 2nd International Workshop on Linked Science 2012 (LISC2012), 1 January.


Merono-Penuela, A, Hoekstra, R, Scharnhorst, A, Gueret, C & Ashkpour, A 2013, 'Longitudinal Queries over Linked Census Data'. in SEMANTIC WEB: ESWC 2013 SATELLITE EVENTS. vol. 7955, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer, pp. 306-307.


Merono-Penuela, A, Gueret, C, Ashkpour, A & Scharnhorst, A 2013, 'Publishing, Harmonizing and Consuming Census Data: the CEDAR Project'. in Workshop proceedings. Open Data on the Web Workshop, World Wide Web Consortium Open Data Institute, Open Knowledge Foundation, 13-14 April.



Meroño-Peñuela, A, Ashkpour, A, Rietveld, L & Hoekstra, R 2012, 'Linked Humanities Data: The Next Frontier? A Case-study in Historical Census Data' CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol 951.




Gemeentelijk Gegevensmodel

Data Architect

Working on a uniform and standard data model for (all) municipal data in the Netherlands.


A centralized data classification platform

Currently serving over half a million mappings to 10 different classification systems (including HISCO, HISCLASS, AAT and AMCO) since our launch and growing, thanks to all the contributors


Linked International Classification of Religions

A 5-star Linked International Classification for Religions. This Classification Systems provides mappings to various other well known system (IPUMS, NAPP, HL7) and is enriched with descriptions from DBPedia.



Common Lab Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities.NWO, 2015-2019. Interdisciplinary research, Linked Open Data, Structured and unstructured data


PhD Project

Census Data Research: Dutch census data in a web of global cultural and historic information. KNAW, Computational Humanities Programme, 2011-2015. The harmonization of the Dutch historical censuses (1795-2010) using Linked Open Data technologies.


Theory and Practice of Historical Census Data Harmonization: The Dutch historical census use case: a flexible, structured and accountable approach using Linked Data technology

PhD Dissertation
PhD Dissertation

Download a digital version for free or Purchase a signed printed copy of the book.