Students and City Museum launch App to enhance visitors' experience

Monday, February 10, 2014 Press Office
Press Release

GMIT Software Development and Fine Art students collaborate on android App

GMIT students from two distinct disciplines, Software Development and Fine Art, have designed and developed an exciting new android App aimed at enhancing visitors’ experience of Galway City Museum.

The App offers people with smartphones access to in-depth information about a range of interesting artefacts in the Museum collection.  It links visitors to information about 30 separate objects such as from an ancient burial urn, to a 17th century silver Freedom box, and the imposing ‘Martin Oliver’ Hooker suspended in the museum, all of which offer insights into Galway’s local, national and international history, trade and cultural links with the wider world. It also provides access to Galway City Museum’s programme of events. 

The App, called Galway City Museum, is the result of collaborative work between GMIT students on the BSc in Software Development programme at the Galway (Dublin Road) campus and students on the BA in Art & Design (Fine Art) at the Centre for Creative Arts and Media campus (formerly Cluain Mhuire).

85 Fine Art students wrote detailed information about the objects under the guidance and expertise of Brendan McGowan, Galway City Museum Education & Outreach Officer and Marion McEnroy-Higgins, Art History Lecturer in the GMIT’s Centre for Creative Arts and Media (CCAM).  

Software Development students Enzo Lieghio and Barry Lennon designed and developed the App under the tuition of Damien Costello, lecturer in GMIT’s Department of Mathematics & Computing. 

“The App will enable visitors to Galway and Galwegians alike to connect with the Galway City Museum and learn more about our rich cultural heritage. Information stored in the cloud is retrieved on demand via QR codes which are linked to site-specific information. The App provides notifications of exhibitions and events run by the GCM in line with their claendar,” explains lecturer Damien Costello.

“It’s an innovative project for students to be involved in and one that will add an exciting technological and research dimension to the visitor experience at the Galway City Museum.” he adds.

The inter-disciplinary project was initiated in September 2012 by GMIT lecturer Marion McEnroy-Higgins. “The aim of the collaborative project is to promote active education, innovation in digital design, and civic engagement, in partnership with Galway’s cultural tourism sector,.” she says.

Brendan McGowan, Education & Outreach Officer, Galway City Museum, says the museum is delighted with the outcome of this partnership with GMIT. “The project, which was inspired by Fintan O'Toole's History of Ireland in 100 Objects series, brings together both traditional research and digital design.”

“The Creative Arts and Media students worked with museum staff, engaging with and responding to our collections, and an app was developed in collaboration with their fellow students of Mathematics & Computing. The outcome will benefit not only the students in terms of experience but will be an opportunity for the tens of thousands of visitors to the museum to use the app to engage further with our collections.”

The app is available through Google store and Android phones.