The Field Museum in Chicago recently upgraded its Internet service to a 1 Gigabit per second (Gbps) Ethernet Dedicated Internet connection. The upgraded service gives the iconic natural history and research institution the bandwidth to support interactive technologies that give visitors new ways to explore and engage with its collections, content and exhibits, and helps enhance its business operations.
Located in Chicago's lakefront Museum Campus, the Field Museum has one of the finest natural history collections and is home to premier exhibitions and educational programs. Before the upgrade to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, the museum's entire staff and business applications had to share an Internet connection of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps). The slower speed was adequate but did not transfer data as quickly. With the upgrade to Ethernet Dedicated Internet, the museum's WiFi system now transfers more than 15.5 Terabytes (TB) of data a year to more than 113,000 individual users.
"Museums are expected to continually incorporate new digital technologies and make visitor experiences even more interactive. Comcast Business Ethernet Dedicated Internet has helped us meet these challenges by providing a reliable, high-capacity network that we can scale as needed," said Rob Zschernitz, director of technology, The Field Museum. "Further, it gives us the ability to provide a more interactive and immersive experience for our visitors."
With an eye towards the future, The Field Museum has implemented a number of updates to its technology infrastructure to support new applications. For example, it has expanded its core internal network, replaced its storage area network technology -- expanding its data storage capacity to over 120TB (to be further expanded to over 160TB by this summer) -- and expanded and upgraded its virtual server infrastructure. This will not only increase energy efficiency, it will support advanced features, such as server uptime and centralized management.
To enhance the visitor experience, the museum also released a mobile app last fall, which is loaded with exclusive content, experiences and curated tours, according to Zchernitz.
"Through video and sound, museum scientists give visitors greater insight into featured artifacts and specimens," said Zchernitz. "In addition, visitors can use the museum's WiFi to share their favorite tours with friends or create their own tours based on interest or theme. New objects and tours are added on a regular basis, so there is always something new to discover."
Museums are exploring digital and mobile technologies to enhance visitor experience. Initiatives go beyond technology within exhibits and installations, but also include more pervasive uses of tech to create interactive experiences for visitors throughout a museum, as well as remote experiences for those who cannot get there.
"I feel that Instagram can offer museums a great platform to connect with the public, afterall museums are visual places and this makes it easy to capture and share pictures of events, objects and exhibitions in seconds."
Virtual Broad Art Museum (VBAM) allows visitors to experience the simulation of the Museum designed by Zaha Hadid within a landscape of site-specific virtual installations.
The current installations activate VBAM through these commissioned artworks that engage the viewer through several modes of interaction – from data driven processes, social media and human interaction.
Claudiu Ionescu is the architect behind Romania's very first digital museum. Situated near the Mures Floodplain Natural Park in the town of Pecica, the unusual and chapel-like museum features a sweeping green roof and dramatic spire facade at its rear. When the sun hits the building, its shape, along with the surrounding courtyard, transforms the museum into a sun dial.
Apart from its unusual structure, the new museum is home to the latest 3D technologies, which allow visitors to virtually explore various museums and artifacts from around the world.
"Visitors can expect to see whatever they choose to see. It's a digital museum and that translates into a plethora of subjects that can be displayed," Claudiu Ionescu tells Gizmag. "One feature that I like the most is that you can visit any museum of the world using passive 3D technology. The 45-inch touchscreens are also an impressive way to communicate ideas."
With an area of just 125 sq m (1,345 sq ft), the museum represents an efficient use of space by presenting digital exhibitions from all over the world which would otherwise fill thousands of square meters.
"My favorite design feature of the museum is the fact that in 125 sq m you can display thousands of square meters of museums, using just a fraction of the utility and staff costs that a real museum has," says Ionescu. "I also like that fact that quite often people come here to see local history and traditions. Pecica is a very old community and they're best known for their bread so a working 250 year old bread oven is also present inside the museum."
The museum's structure was built using reinforced concrete walls and features an aluminum bonded facade. Photovoltaic panels supply the museum with its energy and gray water is collected and recycled via the roof and surrounding paved courtyards. The interior is equipped with low energy LED lighting and the orientation of the windows has been positioned to reduce overheating during the warmer months.
Museums on Instagram Don’t you just hate when you go to a museum and you try to take mobile photos of the incredible architecture, or a beautiful new installation (without flash, of course), and you...
Photo by Karla Cantu on Flickr. Almost overnight my RSS timeline changed from “Facebook blah Facebook blahblah” to “Pinterest blah Pinterest blahblah”.
Pinterest is the perfect platform for culture, if you ask me. It’s the platform most suited to give meaning to our mission statements and values. Among the many, many things you can do on Pinterest (thanks Jenni), here are five I find especially valuable:
1. Make your blog more compelling, and easier to fill
2. Create a mindblowing gallery of influencers and influenced
Sharing your scoops to your social media accounts is a must to distribute your curated content. Not only will it drive traffic and leads through your content, but it will help show your expertise with your followers.
How to integrate my topics' content to my website?
Integrating your curated content to your website or blog will allow you to increase your website visitors’ engagement, boost SEO and acquire new visitors. By redirecting your social media traffic to your website, Scoop.it will also help you generate more qualified traffic and leads from your curation work.
Distributing your curated content through a newsletter is a great way to nurture and engage your email subscribers will developing your traffic and visibility.
Creating engaging newsletters with your curated content is really easy.