m-Libraries Conference 2009, Second International m-libraries Conference

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Towards Mobile Enhanced Digital Collections

Markus Wust, Tito Sierra

Last modified: 2009-07-03


Recent advances in mobile computing have created enormous opportunities for libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) to expose their digital content in new and innovative ways. The newer mobile device platforms, such as Apple's iPhone and Google's Android, come equipped with technologies such as touch screen interfaces, high-speed network connectivity, mapping services, and location detection. The intersection of these technologies enables new forms of user interaction with digital content that were not generally available a few years ago.


How can digital library collections benefit from these technological advances? This presentation will describe our preliminary work to answer this question. Our pilot project will utilize content from the North Carolina State University collection of historic campus images. The goal is to develop a mobile application that allows users to learn more about the history of the institution and its buildings, while simultaneously exploring the physical space of the campus itself. Instead of requiring the user to actively search for information about specific sites of interest on campus from a stationary computer, our system will provide users with a map-based interface that highlights sites of interest near them on their own mobile device. We believe the integration of historic images in this geo/mobile context will provide a compelling user experience for a variety of user communities, including architectural historians, alumni, students, and the general public.


Our project explores the metadata and technical infrastructure requirements for providing a map-based interface to a geolocated digital library image collection on a mobile device. We hope that the lessons learned from this project will inform future developments in this area.

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