Concept: Michael Badics
Nicoletta Blacher
Horst Hörtner
Günther Kolar
Nicolas Naveau
Gerfried Stocker
Date: 2006


“WikiMap Linz” opens up an interactive virtual city map on which visitors can link visuals, texts and sound elements to particular locations just like thumb-tacking items to a bulletin board.

“WikiMap Linz” is a Web application with its own presentation setup in the Ars Electronica Center. At editing stations in the Museum of the Future, visitors can input their own contributions to the virtual city map of Linz and experience via 2D and 3D projections how their material ends up at the sites they’ve chosen—as soundscapes, with visualizations of imagined urban spaces or in text-based metropolitan impressions. Bring your digital images along with you and inject your narratives into the new urban communications network!

With “WikiMap Linz” and the wide variety of uses to which it can be put, the Ars Electronica Futurelab has developed a self-contained and expandable format for so-called location-based multimedia storytelling. Suddenly, a city map no long consists of just representations of streets and buildings; now, the stories, impressions and pictures of the city’s inhabitants and guests are part of it too. A new domain of communication and ideas is engendered.

“WikiMap Linz” is serving as the platform for the All of Linz – A Group Portrait from Above action staged in conjunction with the 2007 Ars Electronica Festival. A small aircraft specially equipped for orthographic photography and operated by the Salzburg-based company fmm cruised at an altitude of approximately 1,100 meters over the city. During a four-hour flyover, this eye-in-the-sky took more than 4,000 high-resolution images of Linz, its inhabitants and the many interesting activities they planned especially for the occasion.

Users of WikiMap Linz can access these amazing pictures either at home online or in the Museum of the Future, where infotrainers are on hand to assist you in finding exactly what you’re looking for. The ones you select can be sent as an attachment to any e-mail address—a souvenir of the occasion, free-of-charge.

The Wikimap communications project that the Ars Electronica Futurelab developed in 2005 for the City of Linz’s Hotspot initiative has quickly spawned spin-offs and an interesting enhancement application. Now, there's also a Wikimap Madrid (produced in cooperation with MediaLabMadrid) and a Wikimap Europe (featuring statistical data and individuals’ opinions about the EU) as well as a Wikimap for regional online community projects in Upper Austria. With the latest development various Wikimpas can be directly implemented in Google Earth.

These virtual interactive maps are being used by regional clients and associates as platforms for a diverse array of projects ranging from associative, artistically-inspired urban installations to thought-provoking city planning proposals. Teamed up with the ever-more-powerful capabilities of communication tools, WikiMaps offer many interesting ways to take advantage of the possibilities afforded by the Internet as a domain of information, communication and ideas that can be linked up with activities at a particular real-world location.

“WikiMap Linz” was upgraded in conjunction with the exhibition “The Age of Simulation” thanks to support by the Innovatives-Österreich.at initiative. This, in turn, generated exemplary works-in-progress such as “Stadtimagination” (Cityimagination) produced in cooperation with the Linz University of Art and “Wissensraum Stadt” (The City as a Sphere of Knowledge), a project by the students of Fadingerstraße High School. You can find more informations about the current projects at www.aec.at/wikimap.

The “WikiMap Linz” Web application is part of the Web portal of “Hotspot,” the city’s wireless LAN initiative. Its development by the Ars Electronica Futurelab was commissioned by the City of Linz. In 2005, the city is launching an unprecedented wireless LAN initiative in cooperation with the Ars Electronica Center. Through 2008, hundreds of Hotspots will be set up on public squares, in municipal cultural facilities, youth clubs, schools and kindergartens, senior centers and libraries all over town that will provide citydwellers and guests with free wireless Internet access.

For details, please visit www.hotspotlinz.at

Development: Ars Electronica Futurelab
Commissioned by the City of Linz (Wikimap Linz), Federal Chancellery of Austria (Wikimap Europe), Provision: BMBWK, Land Oberösterreich (Wikimap Oberösterreich)
Cartographic material and support: Magistrat Linz, Informationstechnologie, Geodaten Management, Stadtkommunikation Linz, Medialab Madrid, EUROSTAT, Statistik Austria, Land Oberösterreich: Doris,


© Ars Electronica Linz GmbH, info@aec.at