Sri Lanka Museums, developed back in 2015 by the ICTA (Information and Communication Agency) and Arimac Lanka, was launched in tandem with the opening of the Magampura Ruhunu Heritage Museum by President Maithripala Sirisena.
Anyone who was traveling past the National Museum of Colombo would have noticed that it was closed and covered from its proverbial head to toe as though it was under renovations. The reason? Well, it actually was under renovations.
Yesterday, after 2½ years of being closed for renovations, the National Museum of Colombo reopened its doors once more to the public. At a press conference held at the Auditorium, the Museum was declared reopened. With that, came the addition of the museum to the Sri Lanka Museums app.
Shriyananda Rathnayake, Programme Manager at ICTA explained how the in the future all museums would be added to the app.
We are going to include all museums under the Department of Museums and in the near future all tickets can be purchased through the app – Shriyananda Rathnayaka
We installed Sri Lanka Museums to see what it’s about
Sri Lanka Museums is available for Android and lists down the major museums in Sri Lanka. These include:
- Colombo National Museum
- Magampura Ruhunu Heritage Museum
- National Museum of Natural History
- Dambana Museum
From here, you have a number of options. Located at the bottom of the app are the Gallery, Floor Map and Buy Ticket options.
The Gallery tab gives the user a walkthrough of the museum complete with a narration in either Sinhala, Tamil or English. The narration is also given in a text format if you wish to read it rather than have it read out to you.
You can swipe left and right to access the different sections of the floor and also view images of the relevant sections by clicking the image located at the top. You can also change floors and continue the walkthrough if you feel like doing so. Clicking the “More” button on the right side of the window shows you more images of the selected section.
The floor map is, well, you guessed it, a literal floor map of the museum. This helps you in navigating and ensuring that you don’t get lost or miss out on any section of the museum.
The Buy Tickets section shows you how much an entrance ticket will be based on criteria such as visitor type and age group. Currently it only shows how much a ticket would cost but future developments will include the ability to book and pay for tickets from within the app itself.
Clicking the 3 lined button on the bottom right will launch more options such as your location within the museum (via an indoor positioning system), the ability to change museums if required and the ability to scan QR codes of exhibits to gain additional information regarding them. It also has an AR viewer. Yes, that’s right. There’s a fully-fledged AR viewer incorporated to the app itself. We couldn’t test it out due to time constraints but according to the developers, the app is supposed to display exhibits in an augmented manner thus making it more interesting to view. We will take their word for it on that for now.
Overall, ICTA and the others responsible have done some good work with the Sri Lanka Museums app, providing quite an informative app for Sri Lankans. The app, whilst looking polished does have a few kinks that need to be worked out such as adding more details to the Gallery and Floor plan of some of the museums and also incorporating a billing and payment system to enable users to book tickets via the app. Indeed, a good effort and with a few improvements, it could very well bring our natural heritage back to life.
If you are interested in downloading the app, you can click here.
Have you used the Sri Lanka Museums app? Love it? Hate it? Let us know in the comments section below.