Title:Digital Extension of the Museum of Marseilles—Towards a Global Museum Built Both in the Real and the Digital World
Authors:Alain Dupuy
Publication:MW2014: Museums and the Web 2014

The Museum of History of Marseilles, France, relates astoundingly to a city founded 26 centuries ago by ancient Greek from Phocaea, which is now the second town in France. Moreover, and even more astoundingly, remains of the main entrance of the city, created then, with towers, walls and path, have been found just right in the center of today’s town, when a mall was planned to be erected there, and foundations made, back in the late sixties. That’s for the museum. Now let’s turn to high tech and to web and mobile application: because the city of Marseilles was built there by the ancient Greeks, and then rebuilt right there by the ancient Romans, after the conquest of Jules Cesar, and then rebuilt again over the years of the Middle Age, there is a lot to show, which isn’t visible, just there in the center of the town. This is the role of the Augmented Reality technique of the mobile application specially tailored for that museum. This application is geolocalized, and it uses the gyroscopic built-in device of most smartphones. It works in the open area of the museum and along the “historic path” which always has been the main street of the town, over centuries. People face the today’s reality of the place, and they are shown how it was at the ancient Greek time, at the ancient Roman time, and at the Middle Age time, with 3D interactive models of these periods, and many hotspots leading to appropriate comments of scientific peoples and experts of the place and its history. Of course, a Web platform helps people to prepare their own visits, either inside the museum, or in the antique area, or along the historical path (as the web platform connects to the mobile application). This feature is open to everybody, but school teachers have their own space to prepare their class’ visits and caht with other, and contribute to the visits data base. As a matter of fact, this is nothing else than a new generation of Global Museum, built both in the real and in the digital world.