ViennaFri, Apr 20, 2018 in Travel
Last week I traveled to Vienna, Austria to attend the European Geophysics Union General Assembly 2018 (EGU2018). It was great to represent our work among an international community and see the wide variety of work being done in related sciences.
It was also great to have a chance to see Vienna. I had previously visited the western end of the country (Upper Austria) driving down the Inn valley from Switzerland through Innsbruck and southeastern Germany to Salzburg. This was my first time in Lower Austria on the edge of Western Europe and long the center of the Hapsburg monarchy.
Following World War II, Austria was occupied by the Allies with Vienna divided into sectors, similar to Berlin, in the middle of Soviet occupied Eastern Austria. It is this divided, war-torn Vienna that is the setting for the iconic film The Third Man. We visited the building that played home to Harry Lime's apartment and the Ferris wheel where Martins and Lime meet. The rubble is long gone but the iconic buildings that survived the war still stand today.
The occupation ended in 1955 and the signs of the division are not that apparent today. I was curious exactly where I would have been, and so created a map of some GPS tracks I had recorded overlayed on the post-World War II occupation zones. I couldn't something readily available; luckily the sectors were designated among the same city districts that exist today, so I was able to take the OpenStreetMap district boundaries and add a field for the sector to categorize. The shapefile is available for download.
The Globe Museum, part of the Austrian National Library, is the only such public museum of globes in the world. The collection spans hundreds of years and offers an interesting perspective on how people viewed the world at different times in history through the unique form. Admission also included entry to the Esperanto Museum on the floor below of the Palais Mollard-Clary, primarily a massive collection of works in Esperanto and other planned languages with some insight into the reasoning for development and persecution of such ideas.