Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Brainstormed by a group of Google employees passionate about art who gathered to come up with project to help museums make their art more accessible to those who don't have the chance of exploring their artworks, the new Art Project powered by Google uses a similar technology to Street View adapted to the inside.
Still in its early stages, this project already permits users to take virtual tours inside 17 of the world’s most acclaimed art museums, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Tate Britain & The National Gallery in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
Interiors can also be explored directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
Thanks to super high resolution photo-capturing technology called "gigapixel"and making use App Engine and Picasa, which includes a specially-built “microscope view”, users can zoom in with an extraordinary level of detail, allowing them to observe the brushwork of famous painters or explore hard to-see elements of an artwork.
When exploring an image, users are given information about the artwork through an info panel which also permits to find more works by the artist and watch related videos on YouYube.
A new clickable annotation feature enables visitors to quickly visit a particular artwork outside the museum that they're visiting at the moment.
Using the “Create an Artwork Collection” feature, users can save specific views of any of the artworks, add comments, and build their own personalized collection. The whole collection can then be shared with friends, family or on the web using the integrated goo.gl URL shortener.
At this moment Google's Art Project is comprised of over 1000 paintings by more than 400 artists, with plans to continue to add more museums and works of art.
The responsible team is putting alot of effort and giving their best, not only to offer an exciting virtual way of visiting museums and explore their collections, but also to serve as an inspiration to visit the real thing.