Now Google Street View lets one tour world’s finest museums from home

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

LONDON - Google Street View has now used its technology to allow users to roam the world’s finest museums from the comfort of their own homes.

The online search giant even claims its Art Project tours are better than the real thing, with one exhibit in each location available in a high-resolution image that goes beyond “what is possible with the naked eye”.

The technology offers a 360-degree virtual tour of 17 museums, like Tate Britain, the National Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, and the Palace of Versailles in France.

Each painting is captured in around seven billion pixels, making their online display around 1,000 times more detailed than an average digital camera.

Google said it took between four and eight hours to capture each painting in great detail with thousands of images, which are “stitched” together.

It used Street View technology to enable people to explore 385 gallery rooms around the world in the same way as they can wander down streets virtually with Google Maps.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota said the project “gives all our audiences an unrivalled opportunity to come really close to great works of art”.

Nelson Mattos, vice president of engineering at Google, called the project “a major step forward in the way people are going to interact with these major treasures”.

He said that “millions of children who will probably never have the opportunity to see these great pieces of art” will now be able to do so online.

“We don’t believe that this technology is going to prevent people from coming to the museums. We hope that the opposite is going to happen,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.

“This is just the first step, the first incarnation of the system. The project is going to continue,” he stated. (ANI)

Filed under: Science and Technology

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