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No getting lost at Smithsonian with app

Thu, 07/12/2012 - 8:35am
Reuters

With nearly 20 museums, galleries and the National Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. can be a daunting experience, but new maps on an app may make it less confusing and easier for visitors to maneuver.

After collaborating with Google Inc, the Smithsonian - the world's largest museum and research complex - has this week released new data to help its millions of annual visitors explore the interior of its many buildings.

"An increasing number of our visitors now turn to their mobile devices and familiar applications to help them find their way and get information about the Smithsonian," Nancy Proctor, head of mobile strategy and initiatives at the Smithsonian Institution, said in a statement.

"Indoor Google Maps helps us achieve our goal of putting the Smithsonian in their hands, both literally and figuratively," she said.

Visitors with Google Maps for Android can find their way within and between each museum. The app, which shows the position of the user as a blue dot on the map, provides directions to the Smithsonian's 2.7 million square feet of space, information on its many exhibits and points of interest.

The National Museum of African Art, the National Museum of American History, the National Portrait Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art are all part of the Smithsonian, which was founded in 1846.

There are an estimated 137 million works of art and specimens at the Smithsonian.

(This story made clear it is data on Google Maps for Android app, removes reference to Smithsonian Mobile in 2nd paragraph)

(Reporting by Patricia Reaney,; editing by Christine Kearney; desking by Gary Crosse)

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