A tag in the hand: supporting semantic, social, and spatial navigation in museums

April 9th, 2009 | RESEARCH

Designers of mobile, social systems must carefully think about how to help their users manage spatial, semantic, and social modes of navigation. Here, we describe our deployment of MobiTags, a system to help museum visitors interact with a collection of "open storage" exhibits, those where the museum provides little curatorial information. MobiTags integrates social tagging, art information, and a map to support navigation and collaborative curation of these open storage collections. We studied 23 people's use of MobiTags in a local museum, combining interview data with device use logs and tracking of people's movements to understand how MobiTags affected their navigation and experience in the museum. Despite a lack of social cues, people feel a strong sense of social presence—and social pressure—through seeing others' tags. The tight coupling of tags, item information, and map features also supported a rich set of practices around these modes of navigation.


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Team Members

Dan Cosley, Author, Cornell University
Jonathan Baxter, Author, Cornell University
Soyoung Lee, Author, Cornell University
Brian Alson, Author, Cornell University
Saeko Nomura, Author, Cornell University
Phil Adams, Author, Cornell University
Chethan Sarabu, Author, Cornell University
Geri Gay, Author, Cornell University


Publication: Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems

Related URLs

full Text via ResearchGate


Audience: General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Art | music | theater | Education and learning science
Resource Type: Conference Proceedings | Reference Materials
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media