‘Inside Out/Outside In’ is a project exploring AR–solutions to two key challenges in Museum Mediation and Cultural Heritage Communication:
1. Central off–location museums lack the context of the real, original environment, while the local sites have been deprived of their authentic artifacts.
2. On–location museums must often isolate their original inventory from the real context immediately outside the exhibition walls.
The movement of artifacts from local sites to central museums creates a problem: the exhibitions lack the original context while the local sites have been deprived of their original objects. Mobile Auhgmented Reality may to some extent bridge this gap by bringing a digital reconstruction of the open original environment into the contained space of the museum exhibition. The first case is a test example from the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo using ARKit as a solution for indoor positioning. A visitor may explore the original burial mound from where the ship was excavated while moving around in the exhibition next to the real ship.
On–site museums have a similar challenge: exhibition halls often isolate the original structures from their real environment just outside the museum walls. Again Mobile Augmented Reality can provide solutions to the problem by combining technologies for indoors positioning with GPS.
The second case is an experiment from the Calmecac Museum in Mexico City. A visitor may explore the ruin fragment in this ‘vault’ museum and see what the reconstructed building could have looked like as part of the ancient Aztec city. The visitor can then continue to experience the digital reconstruction of the ancient environment while walking up and out of the museum, and into the streets of today’s urban setting.