Mulholland, Paul; Collins, Trevor and Zdrahal, Zdenek
Bletchley Park text: using mobile and semantic web technologies to support the post-visit use of online museum resources.
Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 24(Specia)
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A number of technologies have been developed to support the museum visitor, with the aim of making their visit more educationally rewarding and/or entertaining. Examples include PDA-based personalized tour guides and virtual reality representations of cultural objects or scenes. Rather than supporting the actual visit, we decided to employ technology to support the post-visitor, that is, encourage follow-up activities among recent visitors to a museum. This allowed us to use the technology in a way that would not detract from the existing curated experience and allow the museum to provide access to additional heritage resources that cannot be presented during the physical visit. Within our application, called Bletchley Park Text, visitors express their interests by sending text (SMS) messages containing suggested keywords using their own mobile phone. The semantic description of the archive of resources is then used to retrieve and organize a collection of content into a personalized web site for use when they get home. Organization of the collection occurs both bottom-up from the semantic description of each item in the collection, and also top-down according to a formal representation of the overall museum story. In designing the interface we aimed to support exploration across the content archive rather than just the search and retrieval of specific resources. The service was developed for the Bletchley Park museum and has since been launched for use by all visitors.
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