Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Google - Taking virtual tours to a whole new level!

I just discovered an extremely interesting article on the internet about one of Google's newest projects. I'm sure many people have used Google Streetview, and some might even know that through Google Streetview you can visit certain UNESCO sites such as Pompei in a virtual tour. Their newest project is to make it possible for people to take virtual tours with Google Streetview through museums! The article can be read here:

Google Offers Virtual Tours of 17 of the Top Museums Using Street View Technology

"Google's Art Project website is seen on a laptop computer during its launch at the Tate Britain gallery in London February 1, 2011. Google aims to bring the world's great art galleries into the home with a new website that offers virtual tours, the ability to build a private collection of masterpieces and ultra-high resolution images."

"Each of the 17 museums involved also chose one artwork to be photographed using "gigapixel" photo capturing technology, resulting in an image on the computer containing seven billion pixels and providing detail not visible to the naked eye."

"Users can create their own collections, add comments and share their experiences, opening up educational opportunities."

Now I don't believe that viewing these museums through Streetview might cause less people to visit museum. I think it might actually draw visitors to these museums, as they can now 'have a look around in the museum' before deciding whether it is worth visiting or not. Similarly, if you can only afford to spend one hour in the museum, you can figure out beforehand which galleries are most worth visiting.

I'm not sure what to think of the idea of creating your own collection. I'll have to experiment and see how that works, but it would be nice to be able to discuss works of art with other art lovers. I wonder if people would be able to visit each other's collections... It might be a nice idea to be able to show friends around in 'your own virtual gallery' (and here on the left wall, you can see "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh).

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