Wednesday, April 4, 2012

[G] Opening up the world of art with Street View

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Google Lat Long: Opening up the world of art with Street View

As a continuation of our global efforts to expand Street View to the world’s most interesting and unique places, we’re pleased to announce a major expansion of the Google Art Project.

Since we introduced the Art Project last year, curators, artists and viewers from all over the globe have offered exciting ideas about how to enhance the experience of collecting, sharing and discovering art. Institutions worldwide asked to join the project, urging us to increase the diversity of artworks displayed. We listened.

Our global team has worked hard to expand the project to many more museums spanning the globe. Today, the Art Project includes over 30,000 high resolution artworks. Using a combination of various Google technologies and expert information provided by our partners, we have created a unique online art experience. Users can explore a wide range of artworks at brushstroke level detail, take a virtual tour of a museum and even build their own collections to share. And high resolution Street View images now cover 51 of our partner locations, with more on the way.

A wide range of institutions, large and small, traditional art museums as well as less traditional settings for great art, are represented in the expanded Art Project. Click here and take a look at the White House in Washington D.C. Explore the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar. Continue the journey in India, exploring the Santiniketan Triptych in the halls of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi.

White House: Portrait of John F. Kennedy by Aaron Shikler:  View Street View

Here are a few other new things in the expanded Art Project that you might enjoy:
  • Street View images are now displayed in higher resolution and better dynamic range than the original version and include a greater number of images for improved navigation. Our specially designed Street View ‘Trolley’ took 360 degree images of the interior of selected galleries which were then stitched together. The result is a truly immersive experience for art lovers and art newbies alike. The gallery interiors can also be explored directly from within Street View in Google Maps.
  • In addition to Street View, more than 30,000 artworks are featured in high resolution. Some have been photographed in extraordinary detail using super high resolution or ‘gigapixel’ photo capturing technology, enabling the viewer to study details of the brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye.
  • Each museum also features annotations that link you from Street View directly into the high resolution imagery for the artwork. So now as you navigate your favorite collections you can jump in to a specific piece and learn more about it and the artist. In total we have more than 4000 links of paintings, statues and artifacts to be explored.
The Art Project illustrates Google’s commitment to bringing culture online and making it accessible the widest possible audience. Under the auspices of the Google Cultural Institute, we’re producing high resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, digitizing the archives of famous figures such as Nelson Mandela, and creating 3D models of 18th century French cities.

Together with the fantastic input from our partners from around the world, we’re delighted to have created a convenient, fun way to interact with art - a platform that we hope appeals to everyone.

To take a look visit the Art Project or the Street View gallery.

Posted by Posted by Ryan Falor, Product Manager Street View Special Collects and James Davis, Program Manager Art Project

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