From map using to map making: The museum experience through visitors’ digital maps


WEDNESDAY Dec 04, 2019 17:00-18:30

Location: Room 803, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

How do museum visitors recount their experience when prompted to draw their movement path around exhibits and talk about it using a digital app?

What are researchers able to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ about visitors’ experiences through their multimodal digital maps?

Tracking visitors’ movement in museums has been a well-established research method. In this seminar, Dr Christidou will introduce a digital research tool called Social Meaning Mapping (SMM) designed to be used by museum visitors in groups during a post-visit researcher-led session. SMM is embedded in an app, called Visitracker, which allows researchers to collect data in museums through surveys and tracking of visitors’ movement and interactions. For SMM, visitors are invited to recount their movement in a museum room verbally and visually by marking it on a digital floorplan projected on the tablet, using a toolbox.

Dr Christidou will draw upon several examples of such multimodal maps from the ‘Belvedere Visitracker’ study conducted by the University of Oslo and the University of Vienna in collaboration with the Belvedere Gallery to discuss how these digital maps mediate both visitors’ spatial and temporal representations of their experience and researchers’ collection and visualization of data. She will also discuss how the multimodal analysis of such maps offers new insights into visitors’ experience, enriching existing research methodologies.

 About the speaker


Dr Dimitra Christidou is a Senior Researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway. She currently works for the COMnPLAY Horizon 2020 project exploring science learning. She holds a PhD in Museum Studies (UCL) with a focus on visitor studies and she has published extensively on the role of embodiment and social interaction in meaning making in museums.

The Visual and Multimodal Research Forum is a research hub for academic discussion on multimodality run by the UCL Centre for Multimodal Research.

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