Kate Fernie
iPAD screen showing the PATHS app icon

The objective of PATHS has been to establish a flexible system architecture that allows the investigation of functionalities supporting exploration and discovery in cultural heritage collections. The initial deployment of PATHS focused on browser-based applications on desktops. To demonstrate the flexibility of the PATHS api, the project developed a version of the application for use on iPADs.

PATHS had always planned to develop a mobile application, given the explosion in the use of mobile devices, such as smart phones and tablet computers for accessing all kinds of information.  Following the publication of the “Culture on the go ”, which investigated Europeana’s usage with reference to mobile access, we decided to concentrate on the development of an application for the iPAD platform.

Screenshot of the PATHS interface in the iPAD application

A report has just been published describing the PATHS mobile application.  The application was designed as a light-weight version of the desktop prototype.  It incorporates the path following and search functionalities but not path creation.This was both because interest had been expressed by cultural institutions in a version of the application which would allow users to follow paths and narratives in real-world spaces and because of a feeling that the path-creation functionality might be too heavy-weight for use on mobile devices.

The iPAD application reuses core components of the PATHS system along with new web services created to allow the mobile application to make cross domain requests. For more information about the application see the report .

A first version of the mobile app was released in autumn 2013 in time for it to be tested by users in field trials, which are reported in PATHS deliverable 5.3.  User feedback included a wish to be able to share items and paths found in the mobile application.  In response to this request a link has recently been added to the app to allow users to share their findings with friends via Facebook by publishing items on their timeline.

The PATHS mobile app has been submitted to Apple’s App store where we hope it will be made available in future.

Share |