Montreal Space for Life Mobile App

In October 2015, the Montréal Space for Life launched a new, free, mobile tour guide app to complement the four institutions they represent; the Biodôme, the Insectarium, the Botanical Garden, and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. Together, these neighboring facilities promote nature and scientific study by reaching out and inspiring people to learn about and protect the natural world. This mobile app allows each site to provide visitors with guided tours, media, event notifications and more, all on their own devices (Apple and Android).

With an eye towards fostering community involvement and commitment to biodiversity, the interactive tours guide visitors through each institution and grounds, with floor plans and maps, and notifications about educational activities and new exhibits. Multimedia content is also provided to enhance their visit. Each tour is bilingual, delighting visitors with interesting information about the plants, animals and environments spread out before them. The Botanical Garden's tour is also GPS enabled, with points-of-interest that automatically pop-up when the visitor approaches them. The app provides immediate access to practical information such as special event schedules, calendars, ticket purchasing, and more. Additional features, such as "ME", allow visitors to select favorite points-of-interest or content, personalizing their tours based on their own interests.

The main goal of this project was to help visitors orient themselves while visiting the Space for Life, as well as provide them with meaningful information on the sites and sounds around them to enrich their visit. It was also important to show that the four institutions are related, and provide information to bring visitors back for new displays, events, and more.
A good example of how this app enhances the visitor experience is found in the Botanical Garden "Express Route" tour. The award winning Rose Garden, the first stop, is a journey through the history of rose cultivation with varieties dating back to 1897. The app provides context for the experience, images, and audio performed by Quebec singer Jean-Pierre Ferland, for whom one of the varieties is named.

Another example is the Chinese Garden, which is currently under construction. Through the app visitors can access images of the beautiful pagoda building, tranquil pond and traditional Chinese landscaping.

The Space for Life app is completely in the control of the curatorial and exhibition staff, allowing them to add more content, update existing content, create new tours, and push notifications to subscribers. It is, and will continue to be, a great tool for developing educational and promotional experiences for years to come.

Espace pour la vie - App and Map menus
Espace pour la vie App loading and home screens
Espace pour la vie App - Garden and Biodôme maps
Espace pour la vie App - Resource and tours screens
Espace pour la vie App - Insectarium map and Biodôme resource of the penguin feeding