Many, many years ago (I think somewhere in 1997 or 1998) I started "collecting" Dutch words in other languages. It all started with about 5 words I found in my textbook English at school: boss, cookie, the words "everyone" knows are Dutch. The list grew and grew, using various sources. However, in 2005 I lost access to the Oxford English Dictionary, my primary source back then, and the project died out a bit.

Also in the late 1990's, I became interested in Dutch place names in the USA, mainly New York City. Places like Brooklyn and Harlem have a Dutch origin.

In 2005 Google Maps became popular, and after I learned some PHP I got interested in developing some nice applications with it. In October 2007 finally, I found out I still had access to the OED and I restarted the project, and added a map of place names. "It's a Dutch world!" was born!