OpenAtlas is a database application that enables you to manage complex historical, archeological and geospatial data. As Open Source software that is available on GitHub, it uses open source technology like Apache, PostgreSQL, PostGIS, Python 3, Flask and Leaflet.

OpenAtlas offers various options, such as:

  • tracing relations between actors, events, sources, places etc.
  • recording spatial data like information on places where historical events took place
  • editing written sources and recording the interconnections of the mentioned entities
  • creating your own categories and customizing the classification of your data

The data model is based on classes and properties of the CIDOC CRM, which is an internationally established standard for historical documentation.

The development of the application was and is funded through several projects, institutions, and departments, as well as third party funding: On the side of the ÖAW, it has been carried out by the projects Mapping Medieval Conflicts (MEDCON) and Digitising Patterns of Power (DPP) at the Institute for Medieval Research (IMAFO), on the part of the University, the project Grenze Kontaktzone Niemandsland has been involved. The project has received further funding from the Austrian Science Fund (FWF).

Since 2017, the Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities has been actively involved in the further development of the application and offers cooperations for OpenAtlas based projects:

2020 - 2026, PI: Walter Pohl

The Integrating genetic, archaeological and historical perspectives on Eastern Central Europe, 400-900 AD project will seek to understand the impact of migrations and mobility on the population of the Carpathian Basin from 400-900 CE, based on a comprehensive analysis of samples from 6,000 ancient burial sites.


2020 - 2025, PI: Zachary Chitwood

The Mount Athos in Medieval Eastern Mediterranean Society: Contextualizing the History of a Monastic Republic (ca. 850-1550) project will constitute the first comprehensive examination of the monastic communities of Mount Athos as independent actors in medieval Eastern Mediterranean Society.


2019 - 2022, PI: Stefan Eichert, Nina Brundke

The Anthropological and Archaeological Database of Sepultures project has the aim to create a repository of early medieval Austrian grave finds. It combines the three disciplines archaeology, anthropology and digital humanities.


2018 - 2022, PI: David Natal

The Connected Clerics: Building a Universal Church in the Late Antique West (380-604 CE) project analyses how a ‘universal’ late antique Church was constructed despite the context of political fragmentation that precipitated the end of the Western Roman Empire and its division into smaller polities.



2015 - 2020, PI: Claudia Rapp

The Moving Byzantium project highlights the role of Byzantium as a global culture and analyses the internal flexibility of Byzantine society. It aims to contribute to a re-evaluation of a society and culture that has traditionally been depicted as stiff, rigid and encumbered by its own tradition.