What is Geolocation?

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.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the museums you know best?

  • To enrich experience of collections data by delivering geographically relevant information and media to fans and visitors, e.g. Paintings of places near you. More difficult but still desirable is indoor triangulation to deliver contextual media to in-gallery devices and improve self-guided tours.- rbarrettsmall rbarrettsmall Oct 16, 2012
  • Another perspective here.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Very comprehensive summary but perhaps the indoor triangulation challenges (though not possible through satellite GPS) could be pertinent. Perhaps this ties in more with "Location Based Services" - rbarrettsmall rbarrettsmall Oct 16, 2012
  • Another perspective here.

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on education and interpretation in museums?

  • Outreach: making museum collections relevant to non-local fans/potential fans. A better in-museum learning experience by delivering richer media/info to the right place at the right time.- rbarrettsmall rbarrettsmall Oct 16, 2012
  • Another perspective here.

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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