_NATURE ENVIRONMENT

Museums? There’s an App for That
A new project offers patrons a chance to discover museums in their area and museum leaders a chance to better understand their communities — all in the form of a website and mobile app.

_Neville Vakharia

Vakharia is an assistant professor and research director of arts administration in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design

There are more than 30,000 museums spread across the United States, and a new online resource can tell you about every one of them.

MuseumStat is the first comprehensive documentation of museums across the country. It was developed by Drexel researchers in the Westphal College of Media Arts & Design to help museum leaders better understand museums and their role in our communities, and its associated iOS app, MuseumFinder, can reveal museums just around the corner through its location-based GPS search.

“This project is a direct result of how we can leverage the power of data and technology to help the nation’s museums and the communities they serve,” says Neville Vakharia, an associate professor and research director, as well as program director of arts administration in Westphal. “In an increasingly digital and knowledge-driven world, MuseumStat can serve as the means by which museums can better tell their stories, reach new audiences and demonstrate their impact.”

The project developed thanks to a cooperative research grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services.

Vakharia worked with students from Westphal and the College of Computing & Informatics to gather and decipher data and plan and code the components.