Karlsruhe Maptory – A Digital Enactment in the City

Eine digitale Inszenierung im Stadtraum

Screenshot of the display
Type of publication
Publishing house, place
ZKM | Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe

The app »Karlsruhe Maptory – A digital Enactment in the City« guides its users through the inner city of Karlsruhe on the trail of important figures in the city’s history. More than 30 locations, stories or musical events connected with Karlsruhe scholars, scientists, and artists are staged and overlap with reality. Via augmented reality (AR) technology users experience these events on a mobile end device.

App users use a digital map for orientation in the city.  In selected places they can delve into the stories via special AR markers. There are dramatic productions and music pieces, and users learn about intriguing stories and the backgrounds of the historic figures featured. Building facades transform into interactive spaces for painting and play, and posters turn into cinema screens. Scholars, scientists, and artists from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who where living and working in Karlsruhe come to life: on the virtual city tour one encounters Ferdinand Braun, the inventor of the Braun tube (cathode ray tube), the architect Hermann Billing, who together with the sculptor Hermann Binz designed the “scandalous fountain” on the Stephansplatz, Fritz Haber, who developed the first method of synthesizing ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen for which he received the Nobel Prize for chemistry, but his discovery also advanced the use of toxic gas as weapon of mass destruction.

With this app, the ZKM seeks to connect various genres of the visual and performance arts in an entertaining and informative way, and to transform the city into a digital stage. Scenes performed by actors and digital montages alternate with animations or purely acoustic works.

»Karlsruhe Maptory« can be downloaded online for free from the Apple App Store and played on a private iPad or iPhone. You can also get a Tablet (to be booked) at the Loans Station at the ZKM.


Loans Station at the ZKM

Up to ten iPads may be loaned via registration for guided tours on presentation of an identity card/passport. For this, reservations are to be made at least three days in advance: Telephone reservations can be made under: +49 (0)721/8100-1990, or by E-mail to: fuehrungen@zkm.de. Reservation via E-mail will be considered definite only once the ZKM has issued confirmation.

Please note that unforeseen technical problems with the App or iPads may arise. For this reason loans may be cancelled at short notice.

from iOS 8, iPhone ab 5S, iPad ab iPad3
Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

  • Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Kunst und Medientechnologie e.V.
  • Culture – European Commission