(Vienna University of Technology, Austria)


The essence of the city lies in its coherence. Therefore urban history research examines the relation between different stages of development of the city, between several scales of urban structures as well as between the different media (text, image, architecture) which store information on a city’s history. The analog publication medium implies a linear structure and hinders the readability of data across multiple development stages and urban scales. Further, the scientific publication limits the dissemination of information by addressing mainly a professional audience. In order to attract other target groups, such as residents or visitors, it lacks the dynamism and interactivity to which the consumer aspires. Digital media can comply with these requirements and offer cross-linked data through timeline-navigation, reconstructions of city layouts and access to requested detailed information. The direct switching between contents and the constant availability of information transform the documentation of research in an accessible and traceable base for further projects.
The paper at hand presents a digital documentation platform which relates the current state of research on medieval Vienna to new reconstructions of the historic urban layout and allows a free, non-linear navigation through the content. The graphical framework – the reconstructed city plans – is based on the overlay of existing punctual research results on the urban development of medieval Vienna with the information content of historical maps and the preserved medieval architecture. The documentation platform provides a solid extensible base for research on medieval urban history, at the same time making knowledge on Viennese history attractive to a wide audience and stimulating the examination of the touristic potential of the medieval architecture of Vienna.
This paper is part of current PHD-research on the urban development of medieval Vienna and new means of interpretation and presentation of the medieval Viennese cultural heritage.