TourML support

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David Griffin

Jun 19, 2012, 10:47:33 PM6/19/12
Hi.  I'm looking for some feedback from the design team.    We're looking to create some walking tours for mobile platforms and I came across TAP and TourML.   TourML basically consists of "Assets", "Stops" (collections of assets), and "Connections" (a directed graph of Stops).   TAP has a CMS based on Drupal to organize the content.

It seems to me that Omeka already has the assets part nailed down cold and if you were to squint real hard Collections could be considered a "Stop".   

My question is, do you think that a plugin could be created that might be capable of supporting the generation of tours / TourML files?   I'm not that familiar with the architecture of Omeka, so before running off on a fools errand to create such a plugin, I wanted to get a sense of feasibility from those far more familiar with the underlying design and what is possible with plugins (e.g., is this within the realm of a plugin or would it require core modifications?)

Looking forward to your feedback and thank you!

Dave Griffin (Maynard Historical Society, Maynard, MA)

Jeremy Boggs

Jun 20, 2012, 10:21:24 AM6/20/12
This is definitely possible with a plugin, Dave, and shouldn't require core Omeka modifications. Omeka already has the ability to output a variety of response contexts for different kinds of Omeka records, so I could see you creating a plugin to manage tours from the admin interface, associate Omeka items or collections to the tour, then create a TourML output for that specific tour based on a query to the Items table.

You might have to add some metadata fields to the Items if you want them in a specific order in your tour. Or, you could have a separate table that associates an Item (with its place in order) to a specific tour. Or, you could even piggyback on the ExhibitBuilder plugin, create the tours as exhibits, and output a TourML file based on the order of items in an Exhibit. But the scope of the plugin would really depend on how you would want to structure your data, and what relationships would you like to implement between core Omeka records (Items, Collections), and your walking tours. If you have a sense of that, I'd love to hear more.


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Jun 20, 2012, 5:53:57 PM6/20/12
You might also want to look at Curatescape, from the folks who built the Cleveland Historical mobile site and apps. It is a series of plugins built on Omeka for the purpose of generating mobile tours. 

They also are posting their code on Github, so you can check out the project and/or fork a repository:


David Griffin

Jun 20, 2012, 6:26:13 PM6/20/12
Jeremy and Sheila,

Thank you both for the great replies to my inquiry.  It's nice to have confirmation that the task is possible and, indeed, the Curatescape work represents about 70% of the work needed on the server side.   I haven't looked at the code yet, but it seems like some tweaks to their plugin and add a TourML download and we'll be on our way!

I hope I can put together something with this soon and share it with the rest of the Omeka community.

Thanks again.
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