Creating mobile, interactive tours for museums

Exhibitor Briefing
Karlijn Spoor, Netherlands , Karlijn Spoor, Netherlands

We propose to host a workshop in which we, together with participants, will create mobile interactive tours. As many museums are looking into the possibility to create outdoor tours, we would like to share our experiences and have others to try the tools hands-on.

The workshop will introduce participants to the MuseumApp. The MuseumApp is a GPS based, location aware heritage platform, in which museums can create and publish their own multimedia city tours. By simply connecting media (video, pictures, audio, challenges and rewards) to locations in the city, the visitor can explore this city by using his own smart phone. This takes many forms: from interacting with audio stories to publishing their own images, comments and suggestions related to the tour to other audiences on other (social) platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. 

In the workshop participants will gain insights in the lessons learned of the participating museums. What makes for a great concept? How to connect your exhibition to the world outside? Participants will create novel concepts of location-based experiences for their own institutions and quickly prototype their ideas with the MuseumApp editorial tools.

The MuseumApp is the first application to combine multimedia tours from multiple museums. The App was launched in September 2011 with content and support from fifteen Amsterdam based museums, a content partner (Antenna International), a research partner (Rijksdienst voor Cultureel Erfgoed) and a marketing partner (ATCB). For more information, please check www.museumapp.org.

The workshop will be hosted by 7scenes.

Programme: demonstration and workshop, approximately 4 hours.

Maximum number of participants: 25-30 people

Background to the workshop

People have always wanted to tell stories about their experiences, and to share meaning and values. The advent of social media enables this even more. At the same time our mobile phones have steadily turned into digital Swiss Army Knives full of information, connectivity and creative and social potential.

Strengthening the visitors sense of place and context (the outside world, the city) to the museum experience — and therefore, connecting a living society with our formal heritage — means exploring the social dimensions of formal and informal heritage sites and creating new ways of engaging with an audience.

MuseumApp

As many museums are looking into the possibility to create outdoor tours, the Amsterdam Museum, 7scenes and Waag Society decided to explore the possibilities of creating one shared app for museum tours, the MuseumApp.

The MuseumApp has two intended audiences: the end-user (the cultural audience) and museum professionals. The app should be easy to use for the end-user, offer one platform to encounter different cultural tours and content from different museums, but also offer ease-of-use in content creation and facilitation for the museum professional, that is not necessarily an expert on media.

The MuseumApp builds on the existing software platform 7scenes. 7scenes uses GPS based interaction and offers a Web-authoring tool for heritage professionals and mobile interface for the end-user. The platform currently supports iPhone and Android smartphones.

The application creates new connections between the collection of the museum and the experiencing of the city, with a focus more intent on presenting the diversity of the city’s identity than a nostalgic gaze and plenty possibilities to create interactions between application and end-user.

7scenes

7scenes is a mobile technology company, based in Amsterdam and founded in 2007. 7scenes has its roots in many years of research done at medialab Waag Society and is used in many different domains like education, cultural heritage, tourism, events and entertainment, both in The Netherlands and in many other parts of the world. Among its clients are Stedelijk Museum, Haags Museum, Drents Archief and Parsons New School of Design.

www.7scenes.com