Case Study: New York Transit Museum
New York Transit Museum Podcasts Bring Subway Station History to New Global Audience
Government / Museum
Podcast Production Services
MTA / New York Transit Museum
Guided Map podcast series brings New York City subway history to life.
Under the umbrella of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), the New York Transit Museum is the largest museum in the United States devoted to urban public transportation history, and is one of the premier institutions of its kind in the world. As custodian and interpreter of the region’s extensive public transportation networks, the Museum strives to share the rich and vibrant history with local, regional and international audiences. Located in an historic, decommissioned subway station in Brooklyn Heights, the Museum has grown in scope and popularity since its inception a quarter of a century ago.
The number of people who can actually visit the Museum is a fraction of the potential audience – city residents and tourists from around the country and the world. Furthermore, the functioning subway system itself is really an extension of the museum’s collection. The Museum wanted to find a way to reach a wider audience and to foster appreciation for New York transportation history among people actually on the go in the subway. In a fast-paced world, they also needed a way to keep the exhibit content fresh and relevant. And they wanted to find a way to leverage the many temporary exhibits that are no longer on view at the museum.
Solution: Podcast Production
Working closely with the Museum staff, LearningTimes took a theme-based approach and created MuseumCast, a podcast series focusing on the art, architecture and history of various city subway stations. The podcasts feature Guided Maps technology, a unique user interface created just for podcasting and developed for people who are not web developers. The maps can be personalized and branded to fit the look, feel and values of any organization or institution.
The Museum’s podtours include guided pre-packaged tours of the city via a number of different subway stations. The visitor can also choose to customize tours based on individual preferences, interests or locations. The podtours offer multiple modes of enjoyment. Whether they are accessed online through a Web browser or downloaded to a portable device such as an iPhone for on-the-go access, the experience is equally exciting. Staying up to date on new exhibits and happenings is easy with an RSS or iTunes subscription.
Included in the LearningTimes solution is an administrative interface that allows Museum staff to add and manage the podcasts over time. Adding new podcasts to the map is as simple as drag and drop.
MuseumCast has generated a lot of excitement and has enabled the Museum to share its voice with a much larger audience. New traffic has been driven to the Museum’s site through iTunes. Best of all, the Museum can now feature parts of the system that don’t fit in a brick-and-mortar building. Each station has its own set of stories, and the Museum can now tell more of them.
The New York Transit Museum wanted to reach new audiences in a personal way, and their MuseumCasts make that possible. They have also re-purposed temporary exhibits, leveraging the time and costs involved in their initial development. They all have a new life online and on-the-go.