Session Proposal: Geotagging Museum Objects

Projects like historypin that geotag historic photographs have gained a lot of traction over the past few years. But what about geotagging other types of museum content, specifically 3D objects? Museum of London has geotagged a portion of its collection by borough (My London). Minnesota Historical Society just launched a geographic collections search (in beta). I managed to load roughly twenty 19th-century objects from lower Manhattan into historypin before their content manager told me to stop (they’re still up on the site if you want to check them out–zoom in to the area around Broadway and Park Row).

I’d love to talk with fellow campers about the possibilities of geotagged objects. Do you know of other museums that are currently doing this work? What would it take to geotag objects on a broad scale (across many museums)? What new information can we learn about our collections when we can see that they used to live side by side or down the block from each other?


Categories: General |

About raineytisdale

I spent most of the last decade working for Boston's city historical society, but since 2010 I've been an independent curator. I study city museums, consult to city museums, and try to figure out how to turn them into meaningful, dynamic places that deliver increased public value. At various points my research has been sponsored by the Fulbright Program (in Helsinki, Finland) and the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University. I also teach in the graduate museum studies program at Tufts University.

1 Response to Session Proposal: Geotagging Museum Objects

  1. lindsay says:

    I’m all about this. Been working with an advisory group of school-age students (5th graders) this year who want to be able to wander the museum freely with GPS systems and access information — Geotagging seems like a plausible option for information access and navigation. I’d love to chat about the programmatic side of these questions – I wonder if its call for another session – or rather, an extension of this one…

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