Open call: Modeling Travels in History: an ORBIS-esque Hackathon @ Uni Vienna (July 18-20, 2018)

Everyone is familiar with Google Maps—all of us are using it on a daily basis. In 2012 a group of researchers at Stanford (led by Walter Scheidel), developed Orbis ([1], which, one may put, applied the same geographical principles to a particular historical context. Dubbed “a Google Maps for the Roman Empire”[2], this model became a popular historical online resource and an object of envy for scholars working in other historical contexts.

Inspired by Orbis, the Uni-Wien DH Team is organizing a three-day hackathon at the University of Vienna on the theme of map visualisations for historical data. One specific objective of the hackathon will be to build a sort of “Orbis-in-a-Box”—an open-source platform that would allow others to model movements of people and objects in different historical and cultural contexts. (For more details on this particular idea, see:

We are inviting interested digital humanists with an inclination for coding to partake in this 3-day event in Vienna. We are able to offer small bursaries to offset traveling costs.

If you would like to attend, please send a message to with “ORBIS-esque Hackathon” in the subject by 30 June 2018, stating your current institutional affiliation (if any) and your motivation for participating in the hackathon. Please also specify whether you are applying for a bursary.

Yours truly,

Uni-Wien DH Team

Tara Andrews, Mária Vargha, and Maxim Romanov

Links & Notes




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