The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force has launched a free museum tour podcast on its website
The podcast acts as virtual tour, according to museum officials. A map of the museum galleries, called a pod map, shows the arrangement of aircraft with “hotspots” on which more information such as the audio podcast, images or additional links can be accessed.
Once the visitor has explored the pod map, options include creating a personal playlist of various audio segments, downloading the playlist to a computer or subscribing to the podcast via iTunes. Once the visitor has subscribed to the podcast, they are encouraged to download it to an MP3 player and bring it to the museum during their next visit.
Each podcast is numbered and signs are posted throughout the galleries to alert visitors where the next podcast begins.
“This is a really exciting way to use new technology,” said Sarah Olaciregui, the podcast administrator. “Visitors can bring in their own device they are comfortable with using and listen only to those segments that interest them, all while getting more out of their museum experience.
“Our research indicates that most people visit the museum’s website to either plan their next visit or for enjoyment,” she continued. “We think the museum tour podcast will enrich the experiences for those particular online visitors and help them easily move throughout the galleries once they arrive at the museum.”
Tour segments for the Early Years Gallery and Air Power Gallery are now available to the public. Plans call for the Cold War Gallery portion to be complete in late fall with the rest of the galleries coming online throughout 2010. In the coming months, visitors will be able to click on a hotspot on the map and see a 360 degree view of that area.