Title:Group Navigation with Handheld Mobile Museum Guides
Authors:Alan Wecker, Tsvi Kuflik, Oliviero Stock
Publication:MW2011: Museums and the Web 2011

Many museums today use handheld devices (mobile guides) in order to aid in the enhancing of the museum experience. A possible use for mobile guides in the museum context is for navigation among the exhibits (e.g. a tour); While navigation for individuals visiting a museum has been studied extensively, the study of individuals and groups navigating in museums with electronic mobile guides is in its nascent stages; The PIL museum system, which provides via an indoor positioning system , a set of location context sensitive presentations; is amended with a set of pre-planned tours; For the sake of our study the tours are tailored to one of the different visitor types proposed by Falk (Explorer, Experience Seeker, Professional/Hobbyist, Recharger, and Facilitator)[Falk2009]; The characteristics of the user type are taken into consideration in designing the different tour routes and which presentations are given preference; thereby providing us with an adaptive system. An important design point of this adaptation is that it does not eliminate user choices but rather orders them based on the stereotypical user model. Navigation aids are provided based both on maps of the museum and direction giving enhanced by landmarks. The issues involved with providing navigation aids of both types are analyzed and discussed. The planned degrees of freedom, that is the number of choices of paths in the tour, is also correlated to the Falk types. In order to involve a group in the decision making process of navigation we use a mobile device equipped with a small projector in order to provide a shared space.  A sample demonstation of the prototype ammended guide will be presented

[Falk2009] Falk, J. H.  Identity and the museum visitor experience,Left Coast Press Walnut Creek, CA. 2009I