Curator CMS’s mobile tour app from plein air interactive
Rob Landry, Plein Air Interactive, USA
plein air interactive has developed a web-based mobile tour app that can be used by museums, historic sites and botanical gardens to enhance the visitor experience of a gallery exhibit or walking tour. It is a powerful, user-friendly tool that Museum professionals can use to easily self-publish their tours and have complete control over the management of tour content.
For the MW2014 Mobile Bake-off Demo, plein air has created 2 tours:
- Accepts text, graphics, photos, audio and video content
- Previewing of stops before publishing
- Dynamic reordering of stops
- Individual stops can be assigned to multiple tours
- Unlimited number of tours
- Google mapping of tour stops within the app (save a stop and its geo-coordinates are automatically fetched from Google Maps and displayed on the “app-map” if a physical address is provided – appropriate for historic walking tours)
- Stops can be accessed by ID# and/or QR code
- QR codes are automatically generated when a stop is created
The app can be set up as a stand-alone web app or as part of plein air interactive’s Curator CMS. It can be hosted by plein air interactive (like WordPress.com or Blogspot) or configured to run within a museum’s own hosting environment.
As with all of plein air’s custom applcations for museums, it is built on Open Source tools: the Django web framework (see more at www.djangoproject.com). Server-side scripting is written in Python; the administrative interface incorporates the Twitter Bootstrap “front-end” framework. The public-facing interface makes use of either a jQuery Mobile framework or a set of HTML 5 templates.
One tremendous advantage of this framework is that it can be easily extended, allowing plein air to create custom features to meet any special requirements a museum might have for a digital project.
Because it’s built atop Django (which uses the BSD Open Source license), the Curator Mobile Tour app can be licensed to museums with the greatest possible flexibility – as Open Source or with restrictions.
Costs are minimal if hosting through plein air; $50 – 100/month for unlimited tours as a stand-alone application, and $0-50/month if incorporated as part of a larger suite of apps or the Curator CMS.