The Art Maps project is a research collaboration between Horizon and Tate, comprising staff in Computer Science at the University of Nottingham and staff in Performance and New Media at the University of Exeter, as well as staff at Tate Online, Tate Learning and Tate Research. Horizon is funded by RCUK. 

Horizon aims to explore the fundamental principles and develop the underlying technologies, methods and theoretical understanding required to elaborate novel services and develop sustainable systems for a digital economy.

The Art Maps project aims to facilitate Tate’s transition into the digital economy by engaging with Tate Online in developing a novel collection documentation and public engagement tool. This allows Horizon and Tate to gain new insights into the user experience and create new distribution and communication strategies.

The project intends to create a service infrastructure that can be used by others. Studying the use of Art Maps offers insight into how people use technology to understand their environment, in relation to place and space, location and mapping, through art, and art through their personal histories.

To this purpose, the following research questions were developed:

1. How can mobile technologies support both individual and group learning in relation to users’ understanding of and engagement with artworks in relation to place?

2. To what extent and in what ways are users motivated to use mobile devices for more associative and creative responses to art and place?

3. What is the user experience of these applications?

4. To what extent are users willing to upload and share their materials under a creative commons licence?

5. What are the values (scholarly and other) of crowd-sourced geographical data and of associative/creative responses of art and place? How might the values be described and demonstrated?

These research questions are explored through two phases of user-engagement scheduled to occur in April and September 2012 at Tate Britain and Tate St Ives respectively. If you are interested in the project or have any questions for the team, contact: