Category Archives: Cultural History

Civilization, on your own terms

*Caveat: I’m late on the uptake with this, but…

The Canadian Museum of Civilization recently announced the launch of it’s mobile application for the Blackberry (an iPhone & iPod touch app was already launched in December 2009). Their app is the first museum application built for Blackberry in Canada.

Now anyone from around the world can plan their trip to the museum in Gatineau, Quebec, from their smartphones. The apps feature museum hours, special events, interactive floor maps, and public services.

While visitors are at the museum, they can also take personal tours through Canada Hall and First People’s Hall – two of Civilization’s most popular exhibits.

For instructions on downloading the app for either Blackberry or iPhone, visit:

Personally, I’d like to congratulate the Museum of Civilization on 1) being my favourite museum in the Ottawa region, and 2) for their extraordinary efforts in taking their museum to the next digital level.

Museum marketing and interactive exhibits from around the world have undergone a lot of innovation in recent years, but bringing this type of museum accessibility to BOTH iPhone and Blackberry is definitely a milestone in achievement for all Canadian museums. I would imagine that since both the Canadian War Museum and the Museum of Civilization are under the same corporation, the War Museum will probably have an application like this in the near future. Congratulations!

If you haven’t checked out the Museum of Civilization lately, go now! From Sept 2009 – Sept 2010, they have an interesting looking exhibit about the fur traders (or you can preview their virtual exhibit online).


Building the Canal – a Virtual Exhibit from the Bytown Museum

One of the scenes from the 3D tour of the building of the locks on the rideau canal

A 3D tour of the Rideau Canal locks system

I was perusing the Virtual Museum of Canada today and came across a really nice gallery of images from the Bytown Museum.

This virtual exhibit chronicles the building of the Rideau Canal and the key players who made it happen. At first glance, I thought the silent animation on the homepage was the entire project. Then I went to “The Animation” page, and I found a series of downloadable movie files that explains why the locks were built, how they work, and the general history of early settlement in Ottawa.

It also showcases an early tour of the bytown museum, the commissariat originally built for the locks project.

The tour takes 10 minutes, so you need some time to watch it, but it’s a pretty interesting 3D tour of the Bytown Museum before it was the museum.

If you’re interested in the actual 3D project itself, check out the “About the Project” page, and you can see how hard everyone worked on getting the exhibit finished for the VMC.