Title:Multiple Uses of Data in the Museum Environment
Authors:Douglas MacKenzie, Sandy Kydd, Morvyn Myles
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

Every institution has multiple uses for its data. That is why many museum Web sites are on-line versions of brochures or ugly extensions of collection management software. Much of the work in repurposing museum data has looked at interchange and graphics standards. This has its virtues but getting data from one system to another is not particularly difficult. The challenge is in adapting the same data to the needs of different environments. In moving a kiosk application to the Web at DMC we learned many lessons in how, and how not to, do this which we generalised in two tools: MusDev, for building standalone and networked museum kiosk applications, and WebDev, for designing and managing complex Web sites which make extensive use of on-line databases. We do not (quite!) have a series of buttons offering options of “publish catalogue,” “create Web site,” “build touchscreen application” but in creating multi-environment applications such as antique golf club collections and a virtual maritime museum we have discovered how to eliminate much of the tedium of data repurposing by making the right decisions up-front and by automating many of the processes.