In what could be the next great evolution in artistic appreciation, Google has decided that all of those wonderful pieces you see in art museums should be viewable by anyone who has the desire to do so. With the power of gigapixel photo technology and the cooperation of several art galleries around the world, Google is doing just that with Art Project.
By using similar technology in Google’s Street View, people will soon have the opportunity to take virtual tours of 17 museums from around the world. Cameras, which are mounted on a special trolley, will travel through galleries, take 360 degree pictures, stitch them together, and provide a virtual experience of a museum, just as if you were there. And as of right now 385 gallery rooms are available, with more on the way.
Another interesting thing Google has done is that they have chosen one artwork piece from each museum to be photographed while using gigapixel photo technology — over seven billion pixels worth of photograph. This resulted in pictures that provide much more detail not visible to the naked eye; it will probably be one of the highlights of the online gallery experience.
Not much has been said, but I could see Google wanting to take this to the extreme and collect more pictures of artwork. Perhaps this could lead to the creation of a digital library of these artistic pieces (similar to Google Books). Controversy in the making, I’m sure.
Regardless, I might not be an art major, but this is one thing I truly can appreciate. You can do the same: go visit the Art Project by Google.