Ars Electronica Solutions equips new visitor center of the Dachstein Glacier with installations

(Linz, May 24, 2024) Ongoing climate change is visibly affecting the glaciers on the Dachstein – half of the Hallstatt glacier alone has melted over the past 100 years. In the newly opened visitor center of the Dachstein Glacier, interested visitors are made aware of the causes and dramatic effects of global warming. Three interactive stations by Ars Electronica Solutions provide an intuitive way to understand the central importance of the climate for nature and therefore for us humans. After almost nine months of renovations to the mountain station, the Dachstein Glacier ropeway will resume operations today, 24 May 2024.

Climate in transition: Global – Regional – Local

The Half Dome Globe is the first eye-catcher in the valley station: the team from Ars Electronica Solutions shows a representation of the globe that uses atmospheric data, information on land areas and ocean data – provided by the ESA – to visualize global phenomena of climate and global warming.

Two installations were developed in the mountain station at an altitude of 2,700 meters, financed by the federal state of Upper Austria:

An interactive touchscreen visualizes data and facts on climate-related changes in the Dachstein region, which originate from the APPtauen Dachsteingletscher app (Province of Upper Austria) – and have been specially expanded for large-scale display on the touchscreen. The Digital Telescope can be tried out in the glacier restaurant: The view of the real mountain landscape is supplemented by a digital layer (overlay), which changes and displays information depending on the movement of the telescope. Visitors get a completely new view of the summit chain, the imposing 850-meter high Dachstein south face or the melting of the glacier at the Rosmarie Stollen.

Sustainable reorientation

When alpine skiing operations on the Dachstein Glacier were finally discontinued in 2023 and the T-bar lifts were also dismantled as a result, this marked the beginning of a new direction. As a first and pioneering step, the mountain station of the Dachstein glacier ropeway was completely renovated and modernized. A new glacier restaurant was created with a 1,000 square meter glass façade and a spacious roof terrace, which was equipped with a powerful photovoltaic system. Future visitors can look forward to additional viewing platforms, photo hotspots and interactive installations by Ars Electronica Solutions.


“With the installation in the new visitor center of the Dachstein Glacier ropeway, Ars Electronica Solutions shows what is technically possible. The Half Dome Globe is an eye-catcher in the valley station, while there are two installations in the mountain station – all three provide impressive insights. They not only show the changes in the climate, but also that Upper Austria is not only a federal state of labor and business, but also a federal state of technology and innovation.“

Thomas Stelzer, Governor of Upper Austria

The Regional Minister of Upper Austria (Environment and Climate) Stefan Kaineder would like to thank the Planai Bergbahnen for the opportunity to implement the APPtauen and Digital Telescope installations in the new mountain station of the Dachstein ropeway car:

„With the two installations, we are drawing attention to the greatest challenge in human history – climate change – and raising awareness of this issue directly at the place where the climate crisis has already left visible traces. We have been researching the retreat of the Hallstatt glacier on the Dachstein for almost 20 years and it is frightening to see the speed at which we have lost and will continue to lose the eternal ice.“

Stefan Kaineder, Regional Minister of Upper Austria (Environment and Climate)

„Ars Electronica Solutions opens up a unique view of the highest peak in Upper Austria and visualizes the beauty but also the fragility of nature. Interactive stations present scientific facts about climate change in an understandable way and show what this means in concrete terms using the Dachstein glacier as an example.”

Doris Lang-Mayerhofer, City Councilor for Culture & Chair of Ars Electronica’s Supervisory Board

Picture showing: Ursula Lackner (Landesrätin Stmk) , Thomas Stelzer (Governor of Upper Austria), Stefan Kaineder (Regional Minister of Upper Austria for Environment and Climate), Michael Mondria (Managing Director Ars Electronica Solutions)

Photo: Isabel Schölmbauer

Half Dome Globe in the Valley Station

Photo: Harald Steiner

Half Dome Globe at the mountain station

Photo: Harald Steiner

Digital Telescope at the mountain station

Photo: Isabel Schölmbauer

Digital Telescope at the mountain station

Photo: Isabel Schölmbauer

APPtauen Dachsteingletscher (Federal State of Upper Austria) displayed and expanded on a touchscreen by Ars Electronica Solutions

Photo: Isabel Schölmbauer