In what may be the most perfect marriage of art and technology yet devised on the Internet, Google has driven their famous Street View cameras indoors for the winter.
17 of the world’s most famous museums are the setting for this new endeavor, dubbed Google Art Project. Participating museums include The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA in New York, The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Tate Britain & The National Gallery in London, Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
The cameras let you explore the museum interiors, as you’d expect, but they’ve taken things a step further by browsing individual artworks in detail, with a new annotation feature to provide more in-depth information about each work.
In addition, each museum selected a single artwork to get what Google calls the “gigapixel” treatment, a rediculously high-detail scan of the work that lets you get right down to the brushstroke level.
To top it all off, you can save specific views of artworks you particularly like in the ‘Create an Artwork Collection’ feature.
This is pretty exciting, and I can’t wait to see what other uses Google can come up with for Street View. I’m a bit of a natural history buff so I am hoping to see tours of more museums of the natural history and science varieties; what would YOU like to see them do with it? Let us know in the comments!