Google Art and Culture and its potential


Google Art and Culture is a project born in February 2011 (originally called Google Art Project) and involves the major museums and cultural institutions around the world. It is a very important tool for culture, the use of cultural assets and their digital preservation. It is a non-profit initiative and looks like a huge digital-virtual museum in which to virtually visit exhibitions, collections, places of historical interest, archaeological sites and landscapes located around the globe.

Staying at home, you can stroll through the corridors of London's museums, then move to the Taj Mahal to admire its domes from above, and finally study in detail the brushstrokes of famous paintings and immerse yourself in the most remote archaeological sites in the world.

Thanks to Google Art Camera, all participating museums have digitized their works thanks to a technology similar to that of Google Street View, called Gigapixel90, with a resolution ranging from 7 to 12 billion pixels, which therefore allows , to observe details so minute that they are not visible to the human eye. The result is extraordinary: even live we could not get so close to a painting exhibited in a museum and we could see details that, in person, our eyes would not be able to notice.

But beyond this incredible innovation, Google Art and Culture offers many other possibilities such as: very high resolution scans of paintings, guided virtual exhibitions, VR visits, 3D and augmented reality reconstructions, without asking the museums for anything in return, not even the rights: all the material created, even the high resolution scans, remain the property of the individual museums. The potential therefore becomes enormous from various points of view, from education to tourism.

There are two ways to subscribe to the platform, as a simple user or as a cultural institution. The former have the ability to create a profile by carrying out searches, saving contents and organizing them into collections. Museums, foundations, organizations and theaters can get their own space within Google Art and Culture to show their content online. A registration that is undoubtedly more complex than that required for the user, but which can give excellent results in terms of content quality and visibility.

The project started together with seventeen cultural institutions from eleven countries, and to date, after ten years, over 15,000 museums, archives, world heritage sites and local communities have come together on Google Arts & Culture to share, curate and contextualize their treasures in a way unimaginable ten years ago; a total of 6 million works have been digitized and there are almost 10 thousand places of historical and artistic interest. At the time, the thought of uploading an image to the web (not to mention a very high resolution digitization) seemed unthinkable and incomprehensible, but today, in 2021, Google Arts & Culture offers a wealth of carefully curated culture that demonstrates how much technology digital are important for the dissemination of cultural heritage, and how necessary it is to be present on the net.

The main goal of Google Art and Culture is to make world culture more accessible to everyone through the most modern technologies, underlining how much we are all part of one world, breaking down walls and inequalities, to make beauty and culture a right of all.

What has impressed us the most in recent years has been how our partners have shown us how everything can be seen through a cultural lens. Yes, there is the Mona Lisa, but there is also Nigerian pepper soup, Indonesian batik or graffiti on the streets of Brazil and beyond. This has broadened our sense of culture and enriched our understanding of humanity. The same goes for the themes that make us think and offer perspectives that help us understand our past and shape our presence and our future: you will find paths to equality, paths to freedom or paths through heritage sites at risk. of extinction, all seen through the eyes of local communities. The breadth of stories, knowledge and treasures in our world is truly boundless. From Google Art and Culture blog.

The platform works constantly to develop engaging tools and visually stunning experiences to transform the way people can interact with culture, trying to always be at the forefront, and there is no doubt that it presents itself as an entirely digital place and that new technologies they are the masters.

Let's see some examples:

- Art Camera, a robotic camera capable of creating gigapixel images very quickly.

- Arts & Culture app, full of camera-based features such as Art Selfie, Thanks to this feature it is possible to take a picture impersonating a painting of those exhibited in museums, and see if we look like it. Millions of people have tried it, and starting from a single photo a world has opened up for many people. When taking a selfie, your photo is compared to the faces in the artwork provided by the museum's partners. After a brief moment, you'll see your results along with a percentage to estimate the visual similarity of each match and your face. Your selfie becomes a gateway to art - tap on your lookalike to find out more about them or an artist you may never have heard of before.

- Pocket Gallery, a function that uses augmented reality so that you can enter a virtual exhibition space to see all the works, all from your mobile or tablet

- Art Filters, where you can virtually become a work of art or experience iconic artifacts otherwise safely stored in museums, thanks to five educational and fun 3D modeled augmented reality filters based on iconic paintings, objects and accessories from Worldwide. Just take a picture of yourself to become the self-portraits of Van Gogh or Frida Kahlo, or the famous Girl with a Pearl Earring. Thanks also to Google's principles of artificial intelligence95, Art Filter applies machine learning-based image processing96 because making this type of AR functionality possible requires a sophisticated anchoring of the virtual content to the real world. Through this approach, the artifacts are able to organically and smoothly position themselves on your head or react to your facial expression. Art Filter, similar to the popular Art Selfie feature, works completely on your device; your videos and photos are not archived unless you choose to save or share them with friends.

- Street View, a tool that allows you to travel to iconic monuments, enter museums and make virtual tours, imagining being there in person.

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Adventurer. It depends on nature. Obsessive student. Explorer. I am an adventurous traveler and photographer based in northern Italy. I graduated from the Artistic High School with specialization in audiovisual and multimedia, and now I'm graduating from the University at the faculty of sciences and techniques of cultural tourism. I love travel and I have made my passion my job.


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