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Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

Open Source and Mobile Apps: the case of Open Images


In the context of the national digitisation programme Images for the Future, The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision has designed and developed a complete technical architecture to support (mobile) location-based services for cultural heritage. This October, Sound and Vision will launch the first implementation based on this architecture in the form of an iPhone application that offers mobile access to relevant audiovisual heritage related to war monuments.
The architecture developed by Sound and Vision is based on a Drupal installation that connects to relevant open content repositories (for now: Open Images, Flickr: The Commons and Wikipedia) using their respective API’s, and enables the creation of (mobile) location-based services for cultural heritage. Locations in the real world are linked to digital heritage available online. By building a location-aware application that utilizes the location information and related audiovisual heritage stored in the Drupal installation, users can access relevant information – based on their GPS location to enrich their on-site experience. The architecture also supports applications to enable users to contribute comments and images to the locations themselves. Also, it offers access through the Layar Augmented Reality browser.
To promote reuse and further development of the architecture and to ensure that other institutions can easily participate, the complete architecture is based on open source components. Because all information and relations to the online content are centrally stored, it is relatively easy to develop applications on top of the Drupal based architecture. Because the content is separated from the application, this also makes the applications very lightweight. Applications can be an iOS based application (like our first iPhone application), but with a similar effort this can also be an Android of Symbian based application.

In this presentation, we will highlight the design choices and explain the business case for platforms based on open source components.



Demonstration - show your project


JohanOomen's picture
Drs. Johan Oomen is head of the R&D Department of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and researcher at the Web and Media group of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He is mainly working on externally funded research projects that focus on providing online access to digital heritage....
maartenbrinkerink's picture
Maarten Brinkerink holds a Master’s degree in New Media and Digital Culture, and works at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision R&D department. He studied at the University of Utrecht and specializes in digital music culture and the distribution of creative content using digital media...
David van Toor's picture
David van Toor is a masterstudent New Media & Digital Culture at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He is currently writing his thesis on the subject of usability and user-experience with regard to digital cultural heritage and mobile applications for smartphones, in collaboration with the...