2010 Horizon.museum Short List

2010 Horizon.museum Report Short List pdf

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Critical Challenges

Key Trends

Location-Based Services

Time-to-Adoption: Two to Three Years
Location-based services provide content that is dynamically customized according to the user's location. These services are commonly delivered to mobile devices, but can also be accessed from other portable computers, handhelds, or any Internet-capable device. Current common applications for location-based services include advertising, news, social networking, and similar services. An increasing number of mobile applications are taking advantage of the built-in geolocation capability that is increasingly a standard feature in mobile devices.
Location-based services can be used to deliver information as well as commerce, so for example, a museum visitor interested in a painting could easily discover if the museum store contains a poster of the work or a book about an artist. Rich media like photos and video, because they can be easily geo-tagged, are important aspects of location-based services as they continue to develop.

Relevance for Museum Education and Interpretation

  • Museums can used location-based services to push information to audiences based on where they are within the building or grounds.
  • Location-based services in museums could be used to "pin" information to a given location and have it pushed to a user once he/she has reached that location (geocaching).
  • Location-based services allow a museum to extend its collection into the world beyond the walls. For example, public artworks could be “tagged” in ways that lead the visitor to the museum’s website, with the interaction triggered via the act of photographing the art.


  • Layar helps users locate clubs, restaurants, theaters, museums, and more by layering digital information over the image on a mobile’s camera, showing where to find venues nearby: http://www2.layar.com/
  • Tourists to Holland can access information about nearby cultural attractions, museums, and other points of interest using their mobiles: http://www.holland.com/global/layar/
  • QR Code Artist Pedro Morales uses raffia mesh and fabric shapes to create organic works of art with content that can be read by pointing your phone at them: http://2d-code.co.uk/qr-code-artist-pedro-morales/

For Further Reading

7 Things You Should Know about Location-Aware Applications
(Educause, March 2009.) Location-aware applications have many uses, and enhance a variety of disciplines. This brief report discusses location-based services for education.

2009: The Year of LBS (Location-Based Services)
(Sarah Perez, ReadWriteWeb, 7 July 2009.) From finding the nearest coffee shop to tracking your children, location-based services offer a host of solutions to everyday problems.