Smart Museums: Where does Museum Data Fit in a Smart City Data Ecology?


Friday, April 03, 2020: 11:00am - 12:20pm -

Natalia Grincheva, Digital Studio, Research Unit in Public Cultures, Australia

The shift in urban policies from creative to smart city requires the development of new tools and expertise to properly manage big data generated by key cultural institutions in the urban context. Museums operate and produce large amount of data that capture their activities locally and globally, on site and online. Museum collections spread across physical and virtual realities and accumulate vast digital records, complementing wider open source and open data initiatives. Moreover, online and onsite visitors generate complex geo-spatial data that transcend geographic boundaries of museums as single-location entities. Finally, museums with their social agenda to engage wider and more diverse communities have recently embraced digital technologies. Technologies help museums to facilitate a more productive user-centric interaction within and beyond physical museums environments.
A museum agency is no longer a traditional space of heritage preservation, but a virtual and urban territory which defines a new concept of smart heritage. Big data generated by museums could play a significant role in the development of the fabric of smart cities. However, even though arts and culture play one of the most important roles in liveability and economic vitality of contemporary cities, they are not systematically exploited and formally incorporated in smart city initiatives. While the smart city stresses the efficiency of data management for more proactive strategic urban development, data generated by museums is not meaningfully integrated into strategic smart city planning and implementation. Furthermore, smart city initiatives are currently lacking effective evaluation tools and little research has been done to measure specific meaningful outcomes of embedded smart city technologies. My presentation identifies and analyzes different sets of museum visitation, collection and programming data to offer a meaningful framework to assess smart cities cultural performance.

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