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 and Cultural Heritage (formerly Austrian Centre for Digital Humanities) has been actively involved in the further development of the application and offers cooperations for OpenAtlas based projects:


2023 - 2026, PI: Michaela Binder

The FemCareVienna project (FWF individual grant P 36459-G) aims to elucidate the history of medical care for woman through an interdisciplinary study of the historical and bioarchaeological record pertaining to the Hospital of the Elisabethians in Vienna. Central to the project are the life histories of 390 patients from the 18th century whose skeletal human remains were excavated from the hospital cemetery.


2023 - 2025, PI: Viola Winkler, Roland Filzwieser

The Beyond the Item project - short for Beyond the Item - Biographies and Itineraries of Cultural Heritage Objects in Museums and beyond - aims to present well-known museum objects in a state-of-the-art web application that is freely accessible online. The objects and their biographies are vividly described and, in addition to images and texts, 3D models as digital twins, timelines, and story maps are made available.


Approaching Byzantium
2021 - 2024, PI: Nicholas Melvani

The Approaching Byzantium in Ottoman Istanbul: the Reception of the Byzantine Heritage of Constantinople by Scholars from the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century project analyzes how visiting the city of Constantinople affected the reception of Byzantium by humanists from the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century, when the former Byzantine capital was the seat of the Ottoman Empire.


2021 - 2023, PI: Geert Verhoeven, Norbert Pfeifer

The INventory and DIsseminate Graffiti along the dOnaukanal project aims to build the basis to systematically document, monitor, disseminate, and analyse 7 km of graffiti along Vienna’s Danube Canal in the next decade.


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: Deborah Klimburg-Salter; National research partner: Michael Alram

The Cultural Formation and Transformation: Shahi Art and Architecture from Afghanistan to the West Tibetan Frontier at the Dawn of the Islamic Era project (FWF, P-31246) considers for the first time the Shahi kingdoms (c. 7th-10th centuries) which played a pivotal role in the history of Central, Inner, and South Asia. Our ongoing research on the primary source material – artifacts, coins, inscriptions, archaeological evidence – suggests that the Hindu-Buddhist culture survived through the end of the first millennium and gradually evolved towards an Islamic culture at the start of the second millennium.


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.