Google Art Project unlocks world galleries

Google Art Project unlocks world galleries

Summary: The web giant's ambitious project, created in conjunction with 17 major art galleries, has digitised thousands of artworks and brought Street View technology to museum collections

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TOPICS: After Hours
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  • Google Art Project National Gallery Street View

    Google's Street View technology, which was recently extended to include Antarctica, has been applied to the floor plans of the museums.

    Users can wander the hallways of the National Gallery in London (above), stop and zoom in on the pictures in front of them, in exactly the same way as they can towns in Google Street View.

    Small floating buttons appear next to artworks that have been digitised for the project. By clicking on the button, people can open up a high-resolution view of the painting. The Navigate Floor Plan button, meanwhile, allows users to jump to other parts of the museum that have been snapped by Google's cameras.

    In total, the project has digitised 385 gallery rooms and features work by nearly 500 artists.

    Some images on the gallery floor remain blurred when you zoom in on them, however, which Google says is due to copyright restrictions.

    Photo credit: Google

  • Google Art Project tabs

    Clicking on any one of the digitised pictures presents users with a range of options.

    In addition to basic information, such as the title, artist and year of creation, Google Art Project offers detailed viewing notes written by the museum, as well as artist information and links to similar works.

    Photo credit: Google

  • Google Art Project high-resolution image

    One piece of artwork from each museum has been selected for what Google calls "super high-resolution" scans using 'gigapixel' technology. These images contain some seven billion pixels, which allows extreme close-ups.

    Pictured above is a close-up of the National Gallery's gigapixel painting — The Ambassadors (1533) by Hans Holbein.

    "Viewers will see details and explore the painting in a way that hasn't been possible before," said Nicholas Penny, director of The National Gallery, in Google's statement. "The Google Art Project is a powerful example of how digital technology can help art institutions work in partnership to reach out globally to new audiences."

    Photo credit: Google

Topic: After Hours

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