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Giving cultural organisations a bite of the Apple – An introduction to Museum Victoria’s Open Source Field Guide :: Simon Sherrin, Museum Victoria
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Giving cultural organisations a bite of the Apple – An introduction to Museum Victoria’s Open Source Field Guide :: Simon Sherrin, Museum Victoria

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  • Good afternoon, my name is Simon Sherrin and I am the lead developer on Museum Victoria’s Field Guide to Victorian Fauna. I’m here to tell you about what we did, why we did it and why it’s of interest to you.
  • Museum Victoria is Australia’s largest public museum organization, and is responsible for both scientific and cultural collections.
  • In 2010, with the support of the state education department, Climate Watch and the Atlas of living Australia, the Museum produced Biodiversity Snapshots. The website provides tools for students who are going on field trips to study local biodiversity. One of of the tools was a field guide that combined the Museum’s data on a large number of species with images and audio from both the museum’s collection and external sources.
  • The field guide for Biodiversity snapshots was a great resource for students, but would also be of interest for a wider range of people. We were looking for a way to reuse this data in a way that could reach that wider audience
  • It was about that time that a small company in California produced a new take on a hardware platform that had been around for a while. Like any new piece of technology, the question was how can museums use the iPad?
  • So, to explore this new platform, we took the data from biodiversity snapshots along with some additional data on marine species and produced the Field Guide for Victorian Fauna. We deliberately kept the app simple, to let the content speak for itself. The primary purpose of a field guide is to help the user identify animals in the wild. We wanted to replicate the functionality of a paper based field guide, without slavishly imitating a book.
  • The user can approach the content in a number of of ways, they can browse through lists of animals, grouped by type..
  • They can search for an animal by common or scientific name, as they would with an index….
  • The “page” for a species contains both pictures and text as you would expect from a field guide, but unlike paper based guide, the user can change the layout of the page
  • So that they can just focus on the text…
  • Or just show only the images. One feature you don’t get in a paper based field guide is the ability to zoom in an look at the image in more detail.
  • Another feature you don’t get in a paper based field guide is the ability to hear an animals call. A particularly useful tool to have when you can hear an animal, but you can’t see it. The same app runs on both the iPad and
  • The iPhone, although the layout is different to accommodate the smaller screen. While it’s easier to casually browse on the iPad, people are more likely to be carrying their phone, and the best field guide is the one you have on you at the time. A single download is all you need to have over 700 species on both your iPad and your iPhone. For all that information at your finger tips, how much would you expect to pay? We put it up at the start of March this year for
  • Free. Yep, Free.There were a number of reasons for giving away the app, and one of them was to determine the size of the potential audience, and free is going to give you the biggest audience.
  • And we’ve had over 22 thousand downloads in the first eight months, and out of 130 reviews, we have an average rating in the Australian app store of 5 stars. Now I know that you’re possibly sitting there thinking that’s great, for you, but how does it help us?
  • Well, following the lead of the Indianapolismusuem of art, who released their source code for their iPhone Exhibition Guide, TAP,
  • We’ve released the source code for the field guide under an MIT style license. It can be found on the Google Project sites, as the field guide project.
  • The project is structured so that you don’t need to write any code to create your own field guide. All you need to do is put your species information in a simple structured text file, add that, your images and audio into the code project and Bob’s your uncle. A word of caution though, don’t under estimate the amount of effort required to get your content together if you don’t already have it sitting in a database.
  • If you don’t like MV green, you can change the colour of the menu bar with a single setting. The species detail, shown here, is constructed using a HTML template..
  • So, if you want to customise the look of your species data, you only have to edit the HTML or CSS file, not an objective C module. With a bit of creative tweaking of this template, you could create a field guide on a topic other than Fauna: plants, paintings, buildingYou can find more details about how to start preparing your own field guide in the “Field guide to the Field Guide” blog on Museum Victoria’s website.
  • Releasing the code also gives people or organizations the ability to port the code to different platforms. We can provide our field guide to an even wider audience. But for our part, we’re focused on giving everyone a bite of the apple, because
  • That’s always worked out well in the past.

Giving cultural organisations a bite of the Apple – An introduction to Museum Victoria’s Open Source Field Guide :: Simon Sherrin, Museum Victoria Giving cultural organisations a bite of the Apple – An introduction to Museum Victoria’s Open Source Field Guide :: Simon Sherrin, Museum Victoria Presentation Transcript

  • Giving everyone a bite of the Apple with Museum Victoria’s Field GuideNDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • Wikimedia CommonsNDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • Photo by user Elwood_j_blues / Wikimedia CommonsNDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • Over 22,000 downloads in first 8 months Average out of 130 reviews in Australian App Store – 27/11/2011 AverNDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • http://www.imamuseum.org/interact/tapNDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • http://code.google.com/p/the-field-guide-project/NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • Content + Code = Field GuideNDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria
  • Thank you! Simon Sherrin Museum Victoria email: ssherrin@museum.vic.gov.au Twitter: @thesherrin http://museumvictoria.com.au/apps/field-guide http://museumvictoria.com.au/discoverycentre/mv-field-guide-app/blog/ http://code.google.com/p/the-field-guide-project/NDF 2011 Giving everyone a bite of the Apple, Simon Sherrin – Museum Victoria