ID: 133

SONNLECHNER, Christoph; TAUBER, Hannes;


Born in Vienna 1972, Christoph Sonnlechner earned his MA in medieval history and his PhD in environmental history at the University of Vienna. He was trained as an archivist at the Institute of Austrian Historical Research in Vienna (1992-1995). From 1995 to 2005 he worked as a scholar in projects in environmental history. In 2002/03 he was a visiting scholar at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2011/12 he worked as a senior scientist at the Institute of Social Ecology at the Alpen-Adria-Universitaet Klagenfurt, Vienna, Graz.
Since 2005 he is employed at the Vienna City Archives where he has worked as archivist, head of public relations and leader of strategic projects. His research focus lies on town history and environmental history of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Age. He has published several works on what is now Austria from the early Middle Ages onwards.


Born in Eisenstadt, Burgenland 1979, Hannes Tauber earned his MA in history at the University of Vienna. His research focus lies on early medieval Britain and he has been lecturer in Celtic Studies at the university of Vienna for several years. He was trained as an archivist at the Institute of Austrian Historical Research in Vienna (graduating 2013). Since 2006 he is employed at the Vienna City Archives where he has worked in the field of archiving and public relations. He has been the technical leader of the Vienna semantic MediaWiki.


Creating a Semantic MediaWiki for the city of Vienna

Brief summary:

This presentation focuses on the establishment and functions of a semantic Wiki created by the Vienna City Archives. The Wiki currently holds more than 30.000 articles. It serves as a high level platform for historic knowledge and ranks first among historic city Wikis worldwide.


The Vienna City Archives have created a Semantic MediaWiki that will serve as a platform for historic knowledge of the city of Vienna. Based on a printed encyclopedia on Vienna’s history, a semantic Wiki with currently more than 30.000 articles has been established. Data on buildings and topographical information is geo-referenced and displayed on a city map together with diverse other layers of GIS-based information from history, archaeology, art and architecture pooled in a GIS platform called “Wien Kulturgut”. Basic data on persons, buildings etc. is available through text but also through a database and can be retrieved via database queries. Data from these databases will be accessible as Open Government Data (OGD) in the future. Added photos and depictions of all kinds will be issued under a non-commercial cc license.
Major contributors of the Wiki will be the magistrate of Vienna and its departments, first of all the archives and the City Library, as well as the City Museum. As the Wiki is open to everyone, qualified contributions from specialists from outside are welcome but will be reviewed by an editing committee. The Wiki will be online on June 15th 2014.
By offering this tool for the administration of the city and for citizens interested in town history the archives want to serve as the center point of the city’s history.This way, the archives make their holdings and expertise visible and interact with their major stake holders as well as the citizens, universities and societies interested in the history and culture of Vienna.

Scientific contribution:

The project of a semantic town Wiki focusing on history has two scholarly components. On the one hand it helps to further and sharpen archival indexing and exploitation, on the other hand it is platform for scholarly work in the field of town history. The scientific contribution of this presentation will be to show methods and activities that make the integration of archival and historical data with a broader cultural community possible by using cutting edge technology.


Wiki, town history, Vienna, knowledge management