Institute of Education


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

04 December 2019, 5:00 pm–6:30 pm

Interactive maps in an art gallery

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?

This event is free.

Event Information

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Centre for Multimodal Research


Room 803
UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
20 Bedford Way

Tracking visitors’ movement in museums has been a well-established research method. In this seminar, Dr Christidou introduces 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 (University of Oslo and the University of Vienna in collaboration with the Belvedere Gallery). She will discuss how these digital maps mediate both visitors’ spatial and temporal representations of their experience and researchers’ collection and visualisation of data, as well as how the multimodal analysis of such maps offers new insights into visitors’ experience, enriching existing research methodologies. 


About the Speaker

Dr Dimitra Christidou

Dr Christidou works as a senior researcher for the COMnPLAY Horizon 2020 project exploring science learning. She holds a PhD in Museum Studies from UCL with a focus on visitor studies. She has published extensively on the role of embodiment and social interaction in meaning making in museums. 

More about Dr Dimitra Christidou