Google goes high brow – unveils museum Art Project powered by Street View 'indoor' tech

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Google Art ProjectGoogle has gone all high brow on us, unveiling its Art Project, a collaboration with art museums around the world to enable people to enjoy their collections without leaving the house. It’s powered in-part by Google’s Street View ‘indoor’ technology and started off as a ‘20% project’ – the time set aside for Google engineers to work on their own ideas.

Eighteen months in the making, Google says it’s worked with 17 art museums including, Altes Nationalgalerie, The Freer Gallery of Art Smithsonian, National Gallery (London), The Frick Collection, Gemäldegalerie, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, MoMA, Museo Reina Sofia, Museo Thyseen – Bornemisza, Museum Kampa, Palace of Versailles, Rijksmuseum, The State Hermitage Museum, State Tretyakov Gallery, Tate, Uffizi and Van Gogh Museum.

The results consist of a slick website featuring “super high resolution images” of famous artworks, all nicely collated and supported by 360 degree ‘Street View’-style tours of individual galleries. Other Google tech tie-ins include videos from YouTube and those 360 degree tours of museums showing up on Google Maps.

As for the employment of Street View, a special ‘trolley’ was used by Google to capture those 360 degree images of the interior of various galleries, which were then stitched together to enable navigation of over 385 rooms within the featured museums.

And when Google says “super high resolution”, the company is referring to the use of so-called ‘gigapixel’ photo capturing technology. Each such image contains around 7 billion pixels, the search giant tell us, “enabling the viewer to study details of the brushwork and patina beyond that possible with the naked eye.”

Nice.

There’s an e-learning angle too: The ‘Create an Artwork Collection’ feature enables users to save specific views of any of the 1000+ artworks and build their own personalised collection. Comments can then be added to each painting and collections shared.

To that end, works of art included in the project range from Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ to Chris Ofili’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’, Cezanne’s post impressionist works to Byzantine iconography. In total, 486 artists from around the world have been included.

  • http://jetlib.com/news/2011/02/01/google-goes-high-brow-%e2%80%93-unveils-museum-art-project-powered-by-street-view-%e2%80%98indoor%e2%80%99-tech/ Google Goes High Brow – Unveils Museum Art Project Powered By Street View ‘Indoor’ Tech | JetLib News

    […] Read the rest of this entry » […]

  • http://topsy.com/eu.techcrunch.com/2011/02/01/google-goes-high-brow-unveils-museum-art-project-powered-by-street-view-indoor-tech/?utm_source=pingback&utm_campaign=L2 Tweets that mention Google goes high brow – unveils museum Art Project powered by Street View ‘indoor’ tech -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TechCrunch, LolCrunch, Josh Mendelsohn, Margot Heiligman, TechSupportNinjaCrew and others. TechSupportNinjaCrew said: Has anyone checked out the Google Art project? It's pretty cool http://bit.ly/IndoorStreetview […]

  • BR

    A really nice project to come out of google, I hope they invest more time and collections to the site as it could be an amazing resource for students and art lovers around the world.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alphaanimal Avid Avini

    Google is amazing. What a great tool. Finally something to “spend my free-time more efficiently” (as Eric Schmidt said @ DLD-Munich) :-). What they really need to do is put a UGC Layer on their In-Museum Pictures. So users can identify every picture, name it, describe it and eventually start a discussion about it a la Twitter. And other users can view that information through an activity button on the picture. Additionally they should make it possible to zoom out of the picture in order to find oneself in the room the picture is located in.

  • Abraxis

    Not much of an art fan myself, but I can appreciate the work that has gone into making something like this available to people who are interested in art. Another great project from Google! As with anything they do, I’m sure this will expand to encompass many more famous art galleries around the world.

  • J Brennen Founder/CEO

    Google is awesome. I always had a thought that the street view technology should move “off road”. Bravo Google!

    http://bit.ly/dI3hcF

  • http://www.locustid.com/ headhopper

    WOW! Awesome awesome awesome. The first really good app I’ve seen in YEARS. I forgive Google all its sins. I no longer need to squeeze myself into noisy metal tubes for 12 hours at a stretch to see good paintings. But why oh why does it take Google to do something like this? Why couldn’t anyone else do this? Where is the rest of the world? I don’t get it, there are plenty of smart people with access to funding in Europe. Have they all gone to California?

    • Mike

      Have a look at this link……………http://www.smartdrive.co.uk/satscanart.html

      Not only ultra-high resolution images of paintings in the visible light area but infra-red as well, so that underdrawing can be seen.

      Have a look at the link to the BBC coverage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kristahopperhess Krista 'Hopper' Hess

    This is a great tool for teachers (especially art teachers) to use. View this Google demo slam: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTeCqnBuDdU and combine it with a “class art museum field trip” and you’ve got one spectacular application for the education industry.

  • Morgan

    Great work, this brings a fresh dimension to our online experience! What is impressing is the resolution which will be of high value for art fans. This idea of taking StreeView offroad can be taken a step further with ecommerce: which is exactly what this Swiss startup has done: http://www.shopalive.com

  • http://blog.stratepedia.org/2011/02/01/links-for-2011-02-01/ links for 2011-02-01 | Stratepedia Blog

    […] Google goes high brow – unveils museum Art Project powered by Street View ‘indoor’ tech Great resource for art education–make virtual visits to real museums worldwide to explore their art in amazing detail. (tags: art) […]

  • http://blog.aramzs.me/2011/02/links-2-1-11-google-gets-artsy-readability-pays-authors-gamify-121/ Links 2-1-11: Google gets artsy, Readability pays authors, Gamify | Aram Zucker-Scharff

    […] Today Google launched its “Art Project.” It’s a nifty website with some very high resolution images combined with street-view style tours of the various art galleries involved. It’s cool, check it out. Even cooler, people can build their own collections of the art and share them, along with comments. […]

  • http://calculable.org/2011/02/02/fabulous-art-project-from-google/ Fabulous art project from Google | The Calculable

    […] Google goes high brow – unveils museum Art Project powered by Street View ‘indoor’… (eu.techcrunch.com) […]

  • http://teleservis.nikolaev.com.ua/?p=4577 Google открыла виртуальный путеводитель по музеям на базе Street View

    […] материалам TechCrunch Рубрика: […]

  • http://twitter.com/Artseeka Artseeka

    Great project and definitely promising! What’s missing though is the social component. While I hate crowded museums, there was something almost too empty about the experience. Artseeka is currently working on building the social into art, so and may be able to fill that gap for GAP.

  • http://twitter.com/Artseeka Artseeka

    Great project and definitely promising! What’s missing though is the social component. While I hate crowded museums, there was something almost too empty about the experience. Artseeka is currently working on building the social into art, so and may be able to fill that gap for GAP.

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    […] related articles here and here. *as in the company that i am employed by **maybe not so fun Tagged with: art, google art […]

  • http://www.dogs-info.net/html/Breeds/2010/1001/Blue-Heeler-Breed.html Blue Heeler

    Search engines is amazing. I generally had any thought the fact that street watch technology must move “off road”. Bravo Search engines!now,i test my disqus login…..

  • http://www.resimlerii.net Resimleri

    Nice

  • http://pcmoneything.com Rickmci

    That is a great idea. More people will be able to enjoy art without having to make a day plus travel time to each museum. Maybe a bit more art and a little less smitt is what the Inetnet needs.

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  • http://www.streetrally.com/ Street Rally

    The museum art project for the Google Streetview is definitely a great way to promote the Google feature. Thanks for sharing this article.

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  • Asdg

    Art high brow? Not at all potential users of this service run into billions across the world plus great publicity. A lot of Google’s non search stuff has not worked Art Project has legs just wait and see.   Cocktail bar London

  • http://www.the-peacock-bar.co.uk/friday-night-out-london SValley

    Before anyone dare knock it or call it high brow try it – it is fantastic.  A lot of Google Labs  stuff was a bit techie this is very simple and very rewarding. How long before it is being used by every school in the (wired up) world for their art /art history products.  We hosted a corporate event in London for schools showing them different ways of using this application and other web stuff (eg Youtube Video channels) to make a more rewarding enviroment for students. 

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