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  • Pam Schwartz 10:13 pm on November 7, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: Audio tour, Breda, Florence, Mobile application development, Mobile Apps, museum, Netherlands, Palazzo Vecchio,   

    Mobile Apps in Review from Afar 

    I chose to review one of the booths at the Museums & Mobile Online Conference that took place October 24-26.  One of the most interesting companies I felt was D’Uva Workshop.  Though they are an Italian based company they are starting some really ground-breaking work that could really serve many different types of museums, but could DEFINITELY do big things for interpretation of outdoor historic sites and museums.

    D’Uva uses technology in order to assist in interpreting cultural heritage sites with audio guides, video guides, multimedia totems, apps and contents to narrate museums, exhibits, monuments and many other types of sites.  I downloaded the one free app they offer of the Palazzo Vecchio, which is set up as a fairly straightforward audio guide you listen to on your own phone and offers some photos.

    I know some people say that having mobile apps available where people can “visit” the museum will make them not feel like they should visit the REAL museums, but I disagree.  I feel like hearing snippets and seeing images makes me that much more inclined to go.  I’m not going to schedule my trip to Palazzo Vecchio tomorrow but if I ever find myself wandering around Florence, chances are I’ll make a point to visit just because of this audio guide I listened to a million miles away.  You can see a video of their Pantheon app here.

    Not a museum or historic site, they also made a really neat mobile app for the history of the company Acqua Panna (you know, the fancy water?).  It has maps, videos, pics, audio guides etc.  I played with it for a quite a while and didn’t find any glitches.  I foresee a big future in using apps at cultural heritage sites and thing eventually it could almost be done with a sort of panning.  As in, I’m standing in front of a civil war site and I see the exact same image on my phone.  I can then virtually pan through the site on my phone screen and zoom in on points of interest (that don’t have standing text panels in the actual sites).  I could possibly watch how a reenactment might play out in the space I’m standing in through a video on my phone.  It might be an in-depth app to create but think of how many people you could reach and that could use it at very low long-term cost.

    As I mentioned, I think having access to a museum from afar through a mobile app, that you might not otherwise get to visit, is a good way to engage with and get interested in a museum.  So, I choose to use an app for a museum in another country to both check out the app but to see if it managed to perk my interest enough that I might care to visit someday.  I choose the app for a Graphic Design Museum in Breda, Netherlands which supposedly has over 16,000 users.

    Overall, this application is really quite good as I didn’t run into any glitches.  However, the layout is a little boring and does not contain an overwhelming amount of information.  I read all of the content in the app, which is, I think,  everything that is included in the actual museum.  The app has fairly normal selections of explore, map, search, agenda (exhibitions and events) and info.  There are roughly 20 pieces you can look at in the app and read more information about the design movement it fits into as well as main info about each piece.  The map is interesting in that you can locate each piece on it and be able to go straight there if you were looking for something.  Overall, this particular application made me feel like there is no reason for me to visit this museum.  By the map it looks like I’ve already seen all of the pieces and they aren’t anything I find incredibly interesting.

    Maybe these apps can also be of use to consumers to rule out potential vacation scheduling failures?

    • chrislarry 10:55 pm on November 14, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thanks for investigating some apps we didn’t already know. There was a good amount of research done when websites became commonplace about if placing content on the website would deter actual visits. All the studies showed it increased the chances that someone would visit.

  • Pam Schwartz 5:12 pm on October 13, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: museum, poll, ,   

    Techonology in Museums 

    We’ve all had jobs and internships in museums but how many of us have been witness to any trying to use technology in one way, shape or form be it in an exhibition or through social media of some sort?

    If so, what types of things have you experienced?  Was it effective?  Anybody have museum technology horror stories?

    • sdaugherty28 12:15 am on October 14, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Last summer, some of my colleagues developed podcasts. Although I was not directly involved, I checked in on their progress. In addition, I helped update the Morristown National Historical Park blog:


      This is mostly the product of my colleague, but I was excited to help format the blog and post images and text.

    • lleamuseum 7:41 pm on October 16, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      The museum that I used to work for has both a useful and useless interactive features.

      Useless: There is an informational slide show that can be prompted by a key pad. The information is a power point that is shown on a computer screen. An information panel was removed to install it. The key pad has since broken and the comp screen has gone to screen saver. To date it has not been fixed. Useless!

      Useful: A new exhibit has been installed that explores American Indian life. There is a sound board that connects names, locations and meaning. A visitor can find that name of their town, push the button and an American Indian says the name of the town, its proper pronunciation and its meaning in English. Visitors have had a lot of fun with this. It helps them to learn about their community and have a better appreciation for where they live.

    • Pam Schwartz 7:01 pm on October 21, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I have also seen many attempts at “technology” in museums and many of them were unsuccessful. Facebook pages, rarely updated… blogs that NOBODY (not even those working at the museum) wanted to read and several in exhibition computer stations that sat days without working.

      Technology can be extremely effective in museums, but the employees need to realize that maintenance is a HUGE issue. Many, many things can go wrong. Don’t waste your resources creating media or technology stations that you aren’t going to keep up.

      One success I participated in was at the UNI Museums for an exhibition we hosted from SITES called “Earth from Space” We had all sorts of interesting related links that were fun for both adults and children to play with. It was simple enough but the program we used (which had to block out the rest of the web from the computer’s view) caused some problems. Our preparator was super on top of calling IT about issues though.

  • allysonjo7787 5:52 pm on October 3, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: london, museum   

    Going to London anytime soon? This would be a cool museum to visit, especially after their latest “donations”


  • annaanna21 11:50 pm on September 30, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: museum, , participatory   

    The Participatory Museum Reflection Docs. 

    It’s Amazing How much I’ve learned after reading the book of Nina Simon. It made me realize how adventurous and amaizing a Museum world can be if there will be a lot of collaborative works between Visitors ,Museum Professionals and Artists.

    I would like to post reflecting documents of a Participatory Museum that I’ve gathered and researched during my recent visit at Pace Gallery. I think they kind of reflect of how collaborative and adventurous are peoples participation in exhibitions.

    I thought the result of collaborative exhibition is excellent just like the author of the book mentions :” The best participatory experiences are not wide open. They are scaffold to help people feel comfortable engaging in the activity. There are many ways to scaffold experiences without prescribing the result”.

    So here are the examples of it from “Social Media Exhibition”

    1. Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar “We Feel Fine”

    This is a project about a computer program that measures the “emotional temperature” of people around the world in a real time by gathering sentences containing the phrase “I feel” or “I am Feeling” from newly posted blogs. An artist Jonathan Harris mentions in his interview about explaining his work that there are a lot of differences between people but all of them are similar when it comes to need of expressing their thoughts and emotions.
    Here is a very interesting Video of Jonathan Harris Interview:

    Here is the Computer Program “We Feel Fine” Link


    2. Here are the two Photos that I liked from a Photo Collection of Jonathan Harris.This are pics of different people reflecting different thoughts gathered from social web sites.

    • erinlbradford 12:10 am on October 1, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      I like those two photos!

    • chrislarry 3:02 am on October 1, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      More great resources around the Pace show. Thanks Anna!

    • annaanna21 6:22 am on October 1, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

    • annaanna21 10:13 pm on October 2, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

      Thank you . I ‘ve uploaded more resources because I just think this exhibition was so diverse that it could be an example for modern art tendencies in general. I’m looking forward to see other upcoming exhibitions about technology or just any aspect of digital world:) It’s just so interesting and entertainig at the same time.

      • lleamuseum 3:05 am on October 3, 2011 Permalink | Log in to Reply

        Initially I was not sure how I felt about Jonathan Harris’s work, but that video helped me to have a better understanding of how he created his peices. Along with art tendencies his work may also serve a larger social cause. If he can follow people based on mood because of words imagine how this could help people who have negative thought that lead to negative actions. It would allow people or agencies to intervene before it’s too late. I automatically thought of Soldiers who suffer from PTSD. Thank you for posting that video!

        • annaanna21 6:07 am on October 3, 2011 Permalink

          Thanks Lea :)) I’m glad you was interested with this Video. I think he is a very smart, flexible, creative artist who is also very openminded. I reaseched his work online cause I was also interested to hear the explanation of the work idea from the author iteslf:)

  • Pam Schwartz 2:11 am on September 8, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: museum, , video games   

    A recent fun use of technology for museums. For anybody who likes playing video games!


  • Pam Schwartz 2:07 am on September 8, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , genealogy, Iowa, madamuseo, museum, University of Northern Iowa   

    About Me 

    I’m originally from Maquoketa, Iowa but have spent the last five years or so traveling around to various states and countries working and doing internships. I received my Bachelors in Public Relations at the University of Northern Iowa and because Museum Professions doesn’t really exist in the Midwest, I ended up in Jersey. I keep a webpage which pretty much sums me up, it has a brief bio, my blog (mostly museum, some other stuff), resume and graphic design/pr portfolio (in the works).


    I’m in the exhibitions track and hope to end up some day as the Director of an amazing historic house museum. I also love genealogy, it’s really not as dorky as it seems, and have one branch of my family traced back to 1567.

  • chrislarry 4:19 am on August 29, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: museum, , welcome   

    Hello fellow museum professionals Welcome to the course… 

    Hello fellow museum professionals!

    Welcome to the course blog and online learning space for this course. The blog is built on the wordpress software and I am using a theme that lends itself to a group blog set-up with various social-media like features. If you are reading this it means you were able to get registered.

    In this course we will examine how museums went from this:

    To this:

    To maybe this?

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