2010 Horizon.museum Short List

2010 Horizon.museum Report Short List pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

Key Trends


Time-to-Adoption: One Year or Less
Everything on the Earth’s surface has a location that can be expressed with just two coordinates. Using the new classes of geolocation tools, it is very easy to determine and capture the exact location of physical objects — as well as capturing the location where digital media such as photographs and video are taken. The other side of this coin is that it is also becoming easier to work with the geolocative data thus captured: it can be plotted on maps; combined with data about other events, objects, or people; graphed; charted; or manipulated in myriad ways. Indeed, such data are leading to entirely new forms of mapping. Devices we commonly carry with us increasingly have the ability to know where they (and, consequently, we) are, and to record our coordinates as we take photographs, talk to friends, or post updates to social networking websites. The transparency of this group of technologies — they are increasingly imbedded in all sorts of devices and technologies — is making them very much an essential part of our lives.

Relevance for Museum Education and Interpretation

  • Geolocation provides the opportunity to reconnect concepts, collections, and individuals with the world outside the galleries of the museum by allowing contextualization in place and time.
  • Staff and visitors can collect and mine geotagged information for research or personal use and, in doing so, engage more meaningfully with one another in terms of shared experiences and shared authority.
  • Mobile learners can receive context-aware information about nearby resources, points of interest, historical sites, and colleagues, connecting all this with online information for just-in-time learning.
  • Museums can tailor content delivery based on the geolocation of visitors (physical and virtual).


For Further Reading

Mapping Ancient Civilization, in a Matter of Days
(John Noble Wilford, The New York Times, 10 May 2010.) This article provides an overview of how LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is being used by archaeologists to map out sites covered by dense jungle.

What’s Next for Geolocation? Apps, Apps, Apps
(Simon Salt, guest author, ReadWriteWeb, 8 February 2010.) This short post gives a quick summary of where geolocation based social networks are heading and what to expect in the near future.