Overviewː What, Why and how?
App4Museums is a new project that aims to provide the possibility to every museum in the world to offer a mobile application in any language for its visitors based on content available on Wikidata/Wikipedia.
Imagine a world where each museum can have a mobile application in any language ǃ
From the wiki movement perspective
Providing mobile applications to museums around the world based on Wikidata/Wikipedia/Commons content will have a big impact toː
- promote the available content on Wikidata, Wikipedia and Commons.
- increase and improve the content related to the museums and their collections around the world in order to benefit from the application.
- build future GLAM partnerships between Wikimedia affiliates and museums. The project will be a good motivation for museums and local affiliates to connect together and document the museums' collection.
Wikipedia is available in 307 languages which means that the any museum in the world can offer automatically content in up to 307 languages and benefit from the multilingual aspect of Wikipedia. The application can evolve to be a way also to add content:
- to Wikdata by describing what a painting, a mosaic or a statue is depicting.
- to Wikimedia Commons by uploading new photos from the museum.
Finally equipping the museum of the world with a mobile application will be a good way to promote our movement and the Wikimedia Foundation.
From the museum/visitors perspective
Providing a mobile application for its visitors can be an excellent opportunity for visitors to get more information on the museum and its collection. The visitors' experience can start before visiting the museum and lasts during and after the visit.
Sometimes, not so much information is provided by museums to present the exposed elements and not necessarily in many languages which can be a limitation to visitors who are looking for more details. It is for sure very frustrating to visit a museum, to see the collection without being able to find or to understand the exhibition.
Although big museums have enough resources to design their own mobile application, small to mid size museums do not have this opportunity.
The mobile application can be used also as an audio guide when it's not possible to find such guides in the museum and thus enhancing the visitors' experience.
In the first phase of the project, it will include a digital web platform that will allow the automatic generation of a multilingual offline Android (an iOS version will be added later) mobile application for any museum in the world with content populated from the Wikimedia platforms (Wikipedia, Commons and Wikidata).
The administrator of the platform will have to indicate the name of the museum, check the eligibility to have a mobile application and, if it is eligible, click to generate automatically a mobile application populating content from Wikidata/Wikipedia/Commons.
The content will be made available offline using the Kiwix technology and it will be possible to update it frequently on demand or on a regular basis (e.g. monthly).
In order to be eligible for a mobile application, a given museum should have at least in a given languageː
- a main page for the museum itself.
- at least x number of pages (e.g. 5) dedicated to items part of the museum's collection.