MuseumMobile Wiki

Media and Technology on the Go

Mobile FAQs and Storytelling Resources

Post questions and resources about mobile and storytelling here.

NB: You'll need editing privileges in order to create and update posts to this section.
  • Register and email us to get set up (takes about 24 hours).
  • Please categorize your posts "Mobile FAQs" to get them to appear on this page.

Baltimore Local History Research Guide from Baltimore Heritage

Posted by Selwyn Ramp on | July 13, 2016 | No Replies

This guide is made available from Baltimore Heritage.
The document discusses the following topics:

This research guide focuses almost exclusively on online sources. Although a great amount of material is available online, new research projects can often benefit from a trip to the Maryland Room at the Pratt Library or the Maryland Historical Society Library where reference librarians can assist you with your search.

All of these sources are available for free but may require the use of a Enoch Pratt Free Library Card. If you are a student or a teacher at a local college or university, your library may provide access to additional sources not listed below.

Where do I start?
Looking for more information on people and businesses in Baltimore?
Looking for more information on an architect or builder?
Looking for more information about a specific type of building? Or a particular theme?
Looking for a map?
Looking for a picture?
Has anyone else written about this?
Still looking for something? Maybe it is time to go to the library.

Location based platform Baltimore Heritage – Contributor Guidelines

Posted by Selwyn Ramp on | July 13, 2016 | No Replies

Explore Baltimore Heritage – Contributor Guidelines

This is a collaboratively edited set of guidelines and resources for contributors to the Baltimore Heritage project. Useful if you are writing a single story on a topic that interests you or if you are an educator working with a group of students to develop an entire tour. This document includes an overview of the component parts of stories and tours, guidelines for composing and formatting stories and suggestions for how best to submit stories for publication.

Speicic sections discuss 

What is an Explore Baltimore Heritage story?
What is not an Explore Baltimore Heritage Story?
What is an Explore Baltimore Heritage tour?
Writing Guidelines:
What resources are available to help research a story or tour?
How do I compose a title?
How do I compose a description?
Keep it clear and concise!
Make it special!
Write an engaging lead that identifies a strong theme.
Provide context but keep the story focused.
Revise, Revise, Revise!
How do I format a description?
How do I select and format a list of related sources?
How do I select tags?
How do I select a subject heading?
How can I include images with my story?
Submission Process:
How do I submit an Explore Baltimore Heritage story?
What Happens after I Submit a Story?
How will I be Credited?
Additional Resources
Examples of other content creation guides

Basics of IP rights in Maryland

Posted by Selwyn Ramp on | July 13, 2016 | No Replies

This is for informational use only, this is not meant as professional legal advise in any way. However, we have compiled some of the basics of Sound Recording Legality in Maryland.

Two-party consent

Copyrighted Music and Audio

  • Ask yourself: Am I hindering the artist’s ability to monetize this material by using it?
    • If the answer is “yes,” you are likely violating copyright
  • The only time you do not need to secure special permission to use audio is if it is original material or when that audio is in the public domain.
    • Any song or musical work published in 1922 or earlier is in the Public Domain in the USA.
  • If the audio you are using is not in the Public Domain, you need to obtain a license to use it
    • Permission must still be granted for Royalty Free recordings
      • “Royalty Free” does not necessarily mean FREE – must still pay license fee
      • Royalty Free Music sites:
        • The Public Domain Project
        • YouTube Audio Library
        • com
        • Nathan Wills Music
        • Audio Micro
        • com
      • HOWEVER“Fair Use” – a set of exceptions that limit the power of copyright laws, in which the use of the audio is deemed “fair”
        • Several factors taken into account:
          • (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
            • To justify the use as “fair” one must demonstrate how it either advances knowledge or the progress of the arts through the addition of something new
          • (2) the nature of the copyrighted work
            • To prevent the private ownership of work that rightfully belongs in the public domain,facts and ideas are not protected by copyright —only their particular expression or fixation merits such protection
          • (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
            • The amount of audio used -In general, the less that is used in relation to the whole, the more likely the use will be considered “fair”
          • (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work
            • Measures the effect that use of the audio has had on the copyright owner’s ability to exploit his or her original work
          • And (5) acknowledgement of copyrighted source
            • Less likely to prove the use “fair,” but it certainly helps your case…


how-to’s for 5 storytelling platforms

Posted by Selwyn Ramp on | July 13, 2016 | No Replies

Sound Cloud – Free global online audio distribution platform

Wikimedia – free open-source wiki app meant to create and share knowledge

Fieldtrip – free location-based mobile app that provides information about locations near you

YouTube – free global online video sharing platform

IZI.TRAVEL – free global storytelling platform and app with mobile and location based storytelling possibilities.

Free audio recording software options

Posted by Selwyn Ramp on | July 13, 2016 | No Replies

There are (at least) two good free digital audio editors available, if you would like to level your sound, cut sections, do basic mixing of audio etc.

Audacity os a free digital audio editor and recording computer software
You can download Audicty at

You can find a basic beginner’s guide here:
Here is a video about mixing music with voice:

The other app I want to highlight is Levelator

Levelator is a free software app that makes adjustments to audio.  Though they have stopped development of this software in 2012, it is still one of the best pieces of software out there that allows you to make adjustments to your audio in terms of loudness (you can level different soundbits so they have similar volumes).

You can download Levelator at

you can learn the basics about levelator at:
More detailed information about normalizing audio can be found here:

Tips on Writing for the ear

Posted by Selwyn Ramp on | July 13, 2016 | No Replies

Unlike the reader, the listener often has no opportunity to reread what has been said if they miss something or need clarification. As such, preparing material that will be read aloud requires a slightly different approach than preparing written material. Below are nine foolproof tips on how to write for the ear, and not for the eye.

  1. Embrace a conversational tone. Remember that storytelling is a dialogue, not a monologue, and that you want to be engaging and natural in your speech.
  2. Keep your sentences short and simple. Avoid compound or complex sentences and abide by the basic subject-verb-object structure.
  3. Use a simple vocabulary. Big words sound impressive, but they can cause your listener to get lost. Remember that you are speaking to a general audience and write your story accordingly. If you need to use complicated words or concepts, consider defining the terms as you read.
  4. Avoid passive voice. Use active verbs and be direct. This will give your statements more impact. Ex. passive: “she was walking toward the house” vs. active: “she walked towards the house.”
  5. Use contractions. Remember that you want the conversation to flow naturally. For a more seamless oral delivery consider using “can’t” instead of “cannot.”
  6. Punctuate for rhythm. Consider the way your story will sound when spoken out loud and use punctuation to mark pauses and place emphasis. Remember to pace yourself and allow time for your audience to absorb what has been said.
  7. Round your numbers. Unless there is a reason for you to use the exact number, simplify your story by rounding figures to the nearest whole.
  8. Use a straightforward, linear narrative. With audio recordings, there is virtue in clarity. Remember that a listener cannot always rewind if they get lost, so make sure that the structure of your story follows a chronological order with a beginning, middle and end.
  9. Read it out loud. When you have finished drafting your story, read it aloud. What sounds good in your head might not sound natural when read out loud. Reading your story aloud will help you identify problems with rhythm and sentence structure.

Success metrics for Mobile experiences

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | May 15, 2013 | 3 Replies

The following represents a working list of success metrics that museums are using to evaluate their mobile experiences. Please assist us by adding to this list, raising questions or clarifying points.

  • Downloads
  • Usage analytics
  • Reviews/ratings in app stores (quality and quantity)
  • Comments (quality and quantity)
  • Engagement spectrum (from spectating through creating)
  • Variety and quality of contributions (for crowdsourcing)
  • Pre-, during and Post-visit usage
  • Visitor surveys
  • Integration with museum offerings (interpretative and educational)
  • Integration with museum systems (collections, website, social media)
  • Sustainability (ease/cost of maintenance)
  • Cost per user (compared to other offerings)
  • New audience reach (reaching targeted or underserved demographics)
  • Improving audience diversity (cultural and socio-economic, multi-lingual, accessibility)
  • Press reviews (quality and quantity)
  • Compared to other apps
  • Functionality (unique to the platform)

At AAM 2013 session It’s Mobile, But is it Working? we will be presenting these metrics and discussing them. Please contribute!


iPads in museums: some links

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | October 12, 2012 | 6 Replies

Tweeted links from the #mtogo archives from Oct 2011-Oct 2012

Feel free to add to the list via the comments below!

  1. iPads for museums: serving visitors and professional communitiesiPads as tools for museum interpretation & for evaluation and audience research 17 November 2011
  2. MuseumCN RT @ericlongo: @Brooklymuseum uses standing WiFi connected #iPads for visitor comments (Hide/Seek show) #mtogo #artstech #musetech
  3. Groundbreaking use of iPads at New Walk Museum & Art Gallery 11 January, 2011
  4. National Museum of Australia adopting iPads for exhibitions 11 January, 2011
  5. Enhancing Group Tours with the iPad: A Case Study August 5, 2011 and Enhancing Group Tours with the iPad: 2012 Updates and Discoveries October 12, 2012 & Video MIDEA Workshop 2011: Using the iPad with Group Tours
  6. Initial experiences with touch screens & QR codes 15 February 2012
  7. Deploying 129 iPads to NYC Schools 
  8. ArtKollect RT @MuseumCN: RT @brooklynmuseum Now you can search Luce Visible Storage using iPads! #musetech #mtogo cc: @zbartrout
  9. A teacher talks about Sembl Here’s Tricia Meier, teacher of a Year 5/6 class at Curtin Primary School, talking about her and her class’ experience of playing Sembl at the Museum. 30 MAY, 2012
  10. Ironclad iPad @ROMtoronto in Ultimate Dinosaurs #exhibit #museum #musetech#mtogo 4 July 2012
  11.  Art Institute of Chicago(via @lili_czarina) September 18, 2012
  12. “iPad Summer”: Tablets in Canada’s Museums September 6, 2012
  13. MIT iPads in the galleries
  14. Using iPads for Kiosks by Second Story
  15. iPads on Tour at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Why is it so hard to create mobile tours of science museums and the like?

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | September 11, 2012 | 5 Replies

There was a discussion on the Museum-Ed listserv recently that resulted in a short list of science museums and centers that have audio tours. It is notoriously difficult to create successful (if by “successful” we mean popular) audio tours of highly interactive sites like science museums, zoos, parks etc. so I was interested to record this short list and see if others have more to add. It would be useful to analyze what works – and doesn’t – in tours of this kind of site, and applicable to all sorts of cultural tours.

Thanks to Kris Wetterlund of for this info to get the conversation started!

“Susan Gallo at the Cummer Museum wrote that the Cummer in Jacksonville, FL now has four garden cell phone tours. General adult, family, horticulture and touch.

Dana Atwood-Blaine, PhD Candidate, Science Education at the University of Kansas wrote that she is creating a mobile game for iOS that will focus kids’ interactions with the exhibits at Science City in Kansas City as part of her dissertation research.  The game is not created yet, but will be by the end of the year.

Jeff Liverman, Director of the Danville Science Museum in Danville VA, did a great audio tour for around Danville.”

Museum Mobile Myths – Busted!

Posted by Nancy Proctor on | April 3, 2012 | 6 Replies

Over the past 60 years plenty of myths have grown up about mobile in museums. Here we attempt to collect and bust them to give museum professionals the necessary ammunition and talking points to answer concerns about their mobile projects and proposals.

Feel free to add your “myths” below for the museum mobile community to bust! These will also be presented on May 8, 2012 by Nancy Proctor and Eric Longo in the Museums and Mobile Online Conference workshop, “Planning Your Next Mobile Experience: A Step-by-Step Master Class.”