Museums and the Web 2005
Interactions: Description
Photo Credits

More than just papers, MW2005 offers a chance for dialogue.

MuViPlan: Interactive Authoring Environment To Plan Individual Museum Visits

Axel Feix, ZGDV Darmstadt e.V., Germany
Stefan Göbel, ZGDV Darmstadt e.V., Germany

Mini-Workshop: Authoring Tools

Museums are among the most interesting places to encounter cultural heritage, and learn about history or physical and biological phenomena. Hence, many people describe the museum as 'the 3rd learning place' in addition to the parental home and the school or university.

Museums can provide a great variety of original data and exhibits enhanced by digital media. The trend to interactive installations has led to guided tours with tour guides or with mobile companions: audio-based, PDA, or smartphones. Young visitors, especially, compare museums with science centers or theme parks and expect highly interactive artifacts providing a game-based physical setup or tour to explore history or any phenomena.

However, there are still several technical and practical obstacles to the development of such applications. On the one hand, museum staff needs to create content with 'adequate' representation enhanced by digital media, 'appropriate' interaction metaphors, 'exciting' physical setups, and 'appropriate' learning concepts – all to match the interests and background of (a lot of) different visitor groups. On the other hand, visitors have to be 'high-tech friendly', able to combine the real with the virtual and willing to spend some time to plan their individual museum visits.

Based on a state-of-the art analysis of existing authoring tools, this paper introduces MuViPlan as an interactive authoring environment addressing those issues and enabling a (more or less 'virtual') collaboration between museum staff and visitors. MuViPlan products build the basis of various museum applications ranging from terminal applications to Web sites, mixed reality installations or mobile applications such as tours or guided tours. Both museum staff and visitors (individuals or groups: families, school classes) can use MuViPlan in order to prepare, process or evaluate a museum visit.