One of my pet peeves is how backward natural history museums are in grasping the possibilities the Internet raises. Most electronic displays in museums have low information content, and are doomed to obsolescence. Traditional media (plaques, labels) have limited space, and also date quickly. For example, the Natural History Museum in London has a skeleton of Diplodocus carnegiei (see photo below by EmLah). This is one of many replicas distributed around the world.
The plaque describing this fossil has fairly minimal information. Wikipedia, however, has a nice article on Diplodocus, which includes a public domain image of the replica skeleton being presented to the trustees of the British Museum of Natural History in 1905.
Given the limitations of physical media, museum labels and plaques will always be small, and will often be out of date. Wikipedia, of course, can be kept current, and anybody can contribute.
So, the trick is to link the physical object to the Internet. This is now trivial thanks to mobile tagging. By pointing a mobile phone with a camera at a 2D barcode, one can go from physical object to web site.
Here is a 2D barcode for the URL of the Wikipedia article on Diplodicus. Imagine taking your iPhone, pointing it at this barcode, and being taken to the Wikipedia page. If museums were clever, they could set out their own Wiki, and mobilise the combined skills of the museum staff, volunteers, and visitors to populate it.
Now that the iPhone has applications, imagine creating an application that read these barcodes. Kevin Chiu at Columbia has a made one, and there are others out there. Museums could build on this, brand it with their logo, and greatly enhance visitor experience.
Wonder if anyone is doing this...?