Google's Street View technology lets you stroll faraway boulevards and take in the architecture of distant cities. Now it will let you wander some of the world's great art galleries, sampling a smattering of the world's most popular artworks in super high-res.
Google Art Project has rolled the same tech it employs in its famous Street View cars through 17 famous museums including London's National Gallery, Florence's Uffizi Gallery, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum, gathering 360-degree navigable imagery that lets users take a virtual walk through some of the world's great art institutions. Missed the State Tretyakov Gallery last time you were passing through Moscow? No sweat.
The Art Project doesn't allow you to tour all the museums in their entirety—that's for paying patrons—but using a pared down Street View car known as "the trolley," the mapped more than 385 rooms across the 17 galleries, collectively representing thousands of works. Many works have been individually imaged, allowing for a better resolution examination of individual works that allows users to zoom around a canvas.
Moreover, each gallery selected one work to image with extremely high-resolution "gigapixel" tech, allowing users to zoom in on features and details not even visible to the human eye (it's a very Ferris-Bueller-at-the-Art-Institute-of-Chicago kind of experience). Indulge your cultured side here or check out the visitor's guide below.
why does it have to be the GREATEST museums in the world. They went to the trouble to put EVERY road in the world. They have my house, it isnt the greatest house in the world. I am sure they have tons of mundane pointless pictures on street view. getting to my point ----> now: there are plenty of amazing museums that are not worlds greatest. I have lived in a number of small to medium sized cites in the USA and Japan. No matter where you live, chances are they have AT LEAST one local museum. The town I live in has less than 40,000 people but probably has 12 museums. Many of them are amazing. I am not complaing, just being a smart-@$$. I hope eventually try to put any museum they come across on Street View. I live in Japan right now, wouldn't you like to check out our Samurai Castle museum? I want to see the alien museum in that small town outside Area 51 (sorry the name escapes me). you get me point? there are many eclectic museums I enjoy that are far from the "greatest"
Knowing Google, if they could, every museum in the world would be available for all to see in this new program.
But if you have to start somewhere why not start with some of the most recognizable and most heavily trafficked galleries from around the world? Use the increased web traffick on this Gallery View thing to help facilitate expansion to the lesser known museums. Not many people are going to log in to see your local museum, so that would be a waste of money right now. They'll get there soon enough, I'm sure!