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google art project
feb 02, 2011
google art project


screenshot of a visit to new york city’s MoMA, as experienced through the ‘google art project’

released yesterday by google, ‘google art project‘ brings over a thousand artworks by hundreds of artists
to the screens of anyone with an internet connection.

the new program, which permits artworks to be viewed at incredibly high levels of detail,
adapts the company’s ‘street view’ technology to indoor environments,
permitting the virtual touring of seventeen renowned art museums.
visitors can also create, comment on, and share their own virtual art collections
compiled from the project’s works.


‘google art project’ permits high-resolution zooming in on projects, to levels otherwise impossible in the museum setting
here, full and 3/4 zoom views of chris ofili’s ‘no woman, no cry’ (london’s tate britain)

in ‘museum view’ rooms are navigable using the onscreen arrows, as in google street view,
but virtual visitors can also jump to specific artworks from a list of the museum’s most renowned works,
or explore specific parts of the museum by using a hyperlinked floor plan.

the ‘museum view’ sidebar also contains a brief history of the museum, links to its website,
and a link to the museum’s location on google maps.


extremely high zoom onto vincent van gogh’s ‘the bedroom’ (amsterdam’s van gogh museum)

‘artwork view’ allows visitors to zoom into paintings at high resolution.
viewing notes on the sidebar offer information about and context for the work,
as well as interfaces to learn more about the artist or view his other works in google art project.

selected artworks have been treated with google’s ‘gigapixel photo capturing technology’,
generating extremely high resolution images, allegedly composed of seven billion pixels.


the ‘google art project’ museum-view interface

with the  ‘create an artwork collection’ feature, google accountholders can save and share views
of their favourite artworks, adding comments to specific zoom levels.

the amount of information included in the project is determined by the individual museums themselves,
and thus for copyright and other reasons, not all galleries or artworks are necessarily viewable using the tool.
looking forward, google expects the addition of further museums and their works to the collection.


google’s ‘visitor guide’ demo to the project


behind-the-scenes look at the documentation of the works

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