Digital, dynamic maps present a new way of conveying knowledge with the help of digital media. For events with a spatial as well as a time-related expansion - for example, the migration of the peoples, static maps are limited in conveying information. In comparison,
through animation, dynamic, digital maps can make continuous courses of events, interdependencies and connections more comprehendible and thus quickly understandable.
For the subject migration of peoples Architectura Virtualis developed a digital animation, which presented the complex migration movement in Europe in the time from 200 until 600 AD. The animation illustrates the migration and military expeditions of Avars, Anglo-Saxons, Burgundians, Goths, Huns, Langobards, Slavs, Suebi, and Vandals. The animation also gives information about changes of existing empires and the forming of new ones in context to the migration period.
The effect of dynamic maps as an exhibit in museums can be increased when the animation is projected on to a landscape relief. Such an exhibit was realized for the RheinischeLandes Museum in Bonn. The animation picked out as a central theme the development and expansion of the various species of mankind. The animation is projected on a model that comprises the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Their topography is presented on a three dimensional relief. The projection on the relief model shows how the expansion of the different species of mankind was orientated on topographical conditions such as mountains and oceans. The animation begins 9.5 million years ago and makes it clear to the observer that the starting point of the expansion of the various hominids was again and again Africa.
The relief models are mill-cut on the basis of an already constructed computer models and made of synthetic material. The data of the computer models stem from the measurements of the Space Shuttle Mission. The recorded altitude measurements are transformed to computer models. Parallel analogue maps that serve as a basis are digitalized and through geometric transformations made congruent with the models. Thus it is possible to congruently overlap the animation with the landscape reliefs.