Call for Papers

Chair: Claudiu Silvestru, Austria

The wide access to smart mobile devices as well as the easiness of mobile application distribution through several webstores have led to an inflation of apps. A major factor for the high popularity is the permanent availability and intuitive use through user owned – i.e. already well known – handheld devices of everyday life.

From gaming to text editing and training to navigation, mobile applications are common in all imaginable fields – including building and urban history and addressing often at the same time professionals and the general public. Apps are employed in presentation and interpretation strategies by e.g. museums as well as research like urban archaeology and building survey.

The rapid development in the field of apps leads to several issues to be addressed especially when using them for information, education and research purposes, such as:

  • Origin of data and information: where does it come from? Is it validated and traceable? Is it the product of first hand historical research? Especially considering the openness of app stores and the inflation of apps its becoming increasingly difficult to sort out solid third party apps for infotainment.
  • Copyright and pricing: how much does using an app cost? The two original basic price models – free apps and apps with costs – have been extended lately by a marketing strategy providing free light versions of apps with a full version with costs. This pricing model as well as copyright issues due to the light version / full version differences affect research projects especially if the target is to use free – or even open source – software only.
  • Retail: is a research app a service to be sold? Regarding app development difficulties of promoting project results as a product raise due to the financing mechanisms. Public funding generally requires not for profit projects which don’t generate additional income. Apps– and especially validated research, database or information software – need to be updated periodically in order to meet the requirements of new smart mobile devices as well as to implement new research findings. Research partnerships with the private sector might create opportunities for long term maintenance of content and technology.

This session’s aim is to discuss the challenges and promises of the current and future development and implementation of mobile apps in urban archaeology, building survey and urban history research.

To this end, we invite papers that contribute with insightful and controversial aspects regarding the employment of mobile apps, including but not limited to:

  • innovative mobile apps for survey and documentation purposes,
  • mobile apps as a means to public information and awareness,
  • linking infotainment apps to research databases,
  • funding and retail strategies for the development of research apps.

Submit your abstract via online-form.