New Technology Boosts Public Access to Museum Collection

To shared

Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation says it is the first national museum in Canada to improve access to its collection through a public application programming interface, a structured way for software applications to talk to each other.

Ingenium is one of fewer than 65 museums globally – including the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art – to introduce the technology, says the Ottawa-based Crown corporation.

“This is a very significant milestone for Ingenium that breaks new ground in making ours the most accessible collection in Canada and one of the most accessible in the world,” it said.

Application programming interfaces are used in software we use every day, from apps on our phones to the shows we watch on television.

Ingenium oversees the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

It says the technology will make data and artifacts in its collection continuously available to universities, researchers, students and the public.

“Anyone in the world can leverage our collection data for their own creative use,” it says.

“Programmers can leverage APIs to do amazing things like create an art generator for apps – as seen when the popular game Animal Crossing featured artwork from the Art Institute of Chicago’s collection,” it says.

“API drives the Australian Centre for the Moving Image’s ability to connect collections to the RFID chip in ‘The Lens’ – a free handheld, take-home device that lets visitors collect the artworks and objects seen within the exhibitions during their visit.”

To shared