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Title (eng)

Interweaving Physical Artifacts with Data Visualization on Digital Media in Museums


Kerstin Blumenstein   St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences

Description (eng)

In recent years, digital media have increasingly found their way into museums and its surroundings. Today, museums digitize their cultural heritage artifacts, create virtual museums that mainly exist online, or offer a digital extension to expand their audience and complement the physical exhibition. On the one hand, interactive installations are integrated into exhibitions, such as interactive screens, hands-on installations, or digital augmentations of exhibits. On the other hand, there is a growing market for mobile applications developed for museums or exhibitions. Museums usually present physical artifacts that are generally passive and silent, i.e., the objects themselves do not provide any additional information or recommendations. Quite often, however, there are more data available than can be presented in an exhibition. The use of such data can show visitors other perspectives or tell stories that cannot be exhibited. Currently, hardly any installation with visualization published in the scientific community is interwoven with physical artifacts. We want to strengthen the connection between the physical and the digital worlds. Therefore, this thesis aims to examine how visualization methods can be used to interweave physical artifacts with digital media in museums. Based on literature research, we draw an overall picture of the current state of interweaving physical artifacts with data visualization on digital media in museums in the form of a structured overview as a design space. We derive research gaps by applying the Design Space to existing scientific literature on installations with data visualization in museums. To fill four out of six research gaps that were both identified and validated for the proposed Design Space, we conducted two design studies. In the first design study, we developed visualization designs for a location-aware mobile application for visualizing historical data. We explain the iterative development of different designs, the reasons for our design decisions, and comparative evaluations. For our second design study, we developed Babenberg GenVis - an interactive, multi-device visualization of a historical genealogy painting. In addition to applying the two design studies to our Design Space, we also apply two examples from literature that do not originate in the museum environment to generalize the Design Space. Finally, we present guidelines derived from the reflections on our research and possible directions for future research on interweaving physical artifacts with data visualization on digital media in museums. The collection bundles supplementary materials for this thesis.

Object languages



Information Visualization, Museum, Digital Media, Multi-Device, Mobile

The ACM Computing Classification System [1998 Version], User Interfaces