• Open Exhibits

    Software and research on computer-based exhibits

A National Science Foundation-funded software initiative, Open Exhibits provides tools that make it easy for programmers and novices alike to create multitouch exhibits.

DIY Exhibit Development

Open Exhibits is a suite of multitouch and multi-user exhibit modules and templates that seeks to transform the way in which museum professionals and informal educators create computer-based exhibits for use in museums. Open Exhibits is also an online community of practice. Ideum is the principal organization in what was originally a National Science Foundation-funded initiative. In 2014, Ideum received funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in conjunction with the Omeka software initiative.

In November 2010, Ideum launched the Open Exhibits website, a feature-rich community site designed to support the informal educators interested in developing new computer-based exhibits. In early 2012, the site was redesigned and relaunched with a new set of features and improvements based on research that was done as part of the project.

The site is built using WordPress and BuddyPress allowing for user profiles, forums, and other social networking features. The Open Exhibits site has number of custom features as well. The site has a custom version control system and licensing mechanism for the Open Exhibits software development kit (Open Exhibits SDK is based on Ideum’s commercial GestureWorks framework.) The site also allows members to post research papers and has a multi-user blog.

The Open Exhibits website has also been host to two other National Science Foundation funded initiatives: Creating Museum Media for Everyone (CMME) and the Human Computer Interaction in Informal Science Education (HCI+ISE) conference.

Visit Open Exhibits at openexhibits.org.

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