K. Kriz, A. Pucher, G. Katzlberger

University of Vienna, Dept. of Geography


After two years of development, the Atlas Information System of Austria, the ÖROK Atlas Online was finalized and is now open to the general public. ÖROK Atlas Online is a cooperative scientific project with the goal of developing an online system that enables the user to explore national (Austrian) as well as international (European) statistical information. Users can compare and analyse data and visualize the selected information in a high-quality cartographic environment. ÖROK Atlas Online is a synthesis of cartography, geographic information technology, multimedia and statistical analysis. The integration of these domains is being developed in an environment where interface design, map design and multimedia programming operate independently and coherently. To ensure that this can happen, access to up-to-date and homogenized, spatially distributed statistical data is essential. ÖROK Atlas Online offers a powerful and efficient way to view various spatial aspects of Austria and the European Union. ÖROK Atlas Online is a product that, as well as providing a number of possibilities for statistical data processing also considers spatial aspects and ensures high-quality cartographic visualization of the subsequent results. Major focus in the development was put on cartographic aspects, concentrating on a cartographic visualization environment for thematic data, rather than merely producing a geographic/statistical toolkit with map output.

From the beginning, ÖROK Atlas Online was designed as a dual output system. This means that besides the digital interactive Web mapping option, a vector map output was incorporated as well. High quality cartographic output, based on a dual-media concept (digital/analogue), helps the user to derive a holistic view of the entire data, combining thematic and spatial characteristics of global and regional context. Spatial manipulation tools allow a variety of possibilities for analysing as well as visualising highly complex geographic data in an effective and sophisticated way. ÖROK Atlas Online allows to reference all objects in space (3-dimensional) and time (4-dimensional) and to assign other thematic or behavioural attributes (multidimensional). Furthermore, the dimensionality is being extended by the level of detail or granularity of information, allowing the description and access of features on different levels of scale and aggregation.

The paper presents ÖROK Atlas Online as a powerful system for high-quality presentation of national data sources, focusing on main implementation topics, such as data analysis tools and high-quality vector output.