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 1The 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 ToolkitCode on Github, license GPL.

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


10 svar till ”Open Source Museum Apps”

  1. Profilbild för David

    We’re not a museum but we do have access to the collections of hundreds of museums. Some of which were included in the Open Culture app. Like all our products the app code and underlying framework is open,

    The MUSE framework allows for plugging in other APIs than ours so if you don’t want to use our API plug-in your own and mash-up with other APIs!

    David Haskiya


    1. Profilbild för Aron Ambrosiani
      Aron Ambrosiani

      Thanks for the input David! Didn’t know that Europeana used open source as well.

  2. Profilbild för Jakob

    Not museum as such but the danish Kulturarvstyrelsen (now replaced by a united called Kulturstyrelsen) made this: . Code here:

    1. Profilbild för Aron Ambrosiani
      Aron Ambrosiani

      Thanks! Will add it to the list.

  3. Profilbild för Seb Chan

    Cooper Hewitt releases as much of its codebase as it can on Github –

    1. Profilbild för Aron Ambrosiani
      Aron Ambrosiani

      Thanks! Releasing the entire collection database is pretty impressive. I do enjoy the experimental/iterative approach of your projects – hopefully that won’t have to change when the museum opens to the public.

      1. Profilbild för Seb Chan

        The plan is to continue to iterate. We’re building a platform for the entire place and the reopening will be very much v1.0 with the intention of v1.1 shortly afterwards.

        Small pieces loosely joined – with most pieces open sourced on our Github account.

  4. Profilbild för bryan kennedy

    When you say ”App” do you mean mobile phone or tablet application developed for iOS or Android, only? I’m always a bit befuddled at how people break these down and use that term.

    Regardless, there’s a great list of open source museum code here:

    We’re quick to merge pull requests for new links.

    1. Profilbild för Aron Ambrosiani
      Aron Ambrosiani

      Awesome! This is exactly what I was looking for.

      I meant ”app” as in native mobile app, yes, basically because a colleague of mine needed examples in that category. But of course other code releases are interesting too.

      1. Profilbild för bryan kennedy

        Cool, I’m always curious how people define that term, especially in the museum/cultural world.

Lämna ett svar

Din e-postadress kommer inte publiceras. Obligatoriska fält är märkta *