Museum apps are becoming more and more common around the world. Very few apps, however, are available as open source. Considering the public funding of most museums, it might be interesting to discuss whether our apps should be released to the public more often.

I know of three museum app codebases released with an open source license. Would love to find more examples – let me know in the comments!

Museum Victoria (Australia) released the code of their app Field Guide to Victorian Fauna in 2011.

Indianapolis Museum of Art (USA) released the code of their audio guide framework (iOS app, web app and authoring tool) TAP into Museums in 2012.

Kultur- og naturreise (Norway) released the code of their app project KNappen in 2013. About the release (in Norwegian).

I hope that these are not the only cases and would love to add more to this list!

Update 1: The Swedish National Heritage Board released the code to their cultural heritage repository SOCH (Swedish Open Cultural Heritage) in 2013 and their android app Kringla in 2010.

  • Code
  • License: not specified

Update 2: the IMA (together with the Art Institute of Chicago) has also worked on a suite of tools for publishing online catalogues: OSCI Toolkit. Code on Github, license GPL.

Europeana releases all its projects as open source, including the iOS app Open Culture. Code on Github, license EUPL.