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Safeguarding a museum through the COVID-19 pandemic

Public attraction
The STEAM Museum, located in Swindon, Wiltshire, is housed in a beautifully restored Grade II railway building in the heart of the former Swindon railway works.

Project Requirements

STEAM, the museum of the Great Western Railway in Swindon, contracted Cognica to conduct a full scan of the museum in August of 2019. This was undertaken as a means for the STEAM Museum to trial the concept of having an easily accessible digitalised version of their site, whilst also broadening Cognica's portfolio.

What we delivered:

Cognica was able to scan the entire public area of the museum in under 3 hours, with final delivery of the scan taking approximately 2 days. This provided the STEAM Museum with a digitalised walkthrough of it's space and exhibits using Insite360. When the museum was closed due to the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, the scan enabled museum staff to create and offer a full digital tour experience, free for access, to the public. To date, more than 17,000 visitors have participated in the virtual tour. Moreover, the museum has been able to provide continued updates and add tour content to retain interest throughout an otherwise difficult period.

Increase online presence

Increased online visitors to >10,000 from all over the world

Include Tour information

Include Points of Interest with information on areas within the museum

Interactivity for Users

Areas built for user interaction

Capability to re-design

Have the Point Cloud to review space and exhibitions

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Uses for Insite360

Insite360 also provided the museum owners with 3D scans of the building and assets, useful for planning purposes, making precision measurements throughout the facility and to determine space requirements for future exhibits. The data gleaned from the 3D scans can also be used for specific user-friendly information such as outlining building accessibility. The museum’s 360 panorama images accurately show the best routes for access to aid planning for visits, reducing potential anxiety and allowing for a safe experience. The routing functionality also enables a user to determine the fastest and most direct route to navigate around the site, with accurate pathfinding to each exhibit, enhancing the experience for the end-user.

Our tool helped to cut costs and ensured the museum remained open. STEAM was delighted with the tool’s multifaceted use and credited it for helping the museum remain accessible for his visitors.

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