Interactive Museum Maps For Touch-Screen Kiosks and Web Sites
An interactive museum map is extremely helpful when trying to navigate complex facilities that sometimes consist of multiple buildings and levels. You want to be sure your visitors don't feel like they are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike!
When the Art Institute of Chicago opened their new Modern Wing in May of 2009, the museum grew to more than a million square feet of gallery space, making it the second largest art museum in the United States. You can literally get lost in there so the challenge for the museum was to create an interactive floor plan that would help viewers discover and locate artworks and museum amenities. They wanted a solution that would work on museum touch-screen kiosks as well as their web site.
The solution, called Pathfinder, uses MapsAlive to create interactive floor plans that guide visitors through the museum's many buildings and floors and help them discover and locate artworks on display. Both museum visitors and web site users can discover artworks and exhibits, see gallery panoramas, find events and locate amenities such as restaurants and shops.
When you visit the museum you can select galleries or artworks and find them on the floor plan or you can touch a gallery on a kiosk to see what artworks are located there. Once you decide what you want to see you probably want to know how to get there. Each kiosk displays a "You Are Here" marker and the interactive floor plans use the routes feature to draw 3D routes showing you how to get from where you are standing to where you want to go in the museum.
Even smaller museums can benefit from adding interactive maps to their web sites. You can display photographs and descriptions of exhibits or special events to give people a sense of what they will see when they visit and perhaps help them to plan how much time they should allow. See this example of an interactive museum map for a hands-on Science Museum. Interactive floor plans and maps are also useful for hospitals, shopping malls, convention centers or any large facilities.