Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Google Art Project

Google Art Project hosts seventeen museums worth of paintings with gigapixel imaging - including Rembrandt's Night Watch...

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Yes, it's Flash based. More's the pity. Churlish to complain though.

This is a glorious marvel. Most of these paintings can be seen only at a distance. Now you can put your eye next to them.

Google moves into positive Kharma territory with this one.

From the FAQ ...

Why is there a difference between the museums in terms of the number of galleries, artworks and related information?

Google approached the museum partners without any curatorial direction, and each museum was able to chose the number of galleries, artwork and information they wanted to include, based on reasons specific to them. All content in the information panel pertaining to individual artworks was also provided by the museums.

Why are some areas or specific paintings in the museum Street View imagery blurred?

Some of the paintings and features captured with Street View were required to be blurred by the museums for reasons pertaining to copyrights.

Are the images on the Art Project site copyright protected?

Yes. The high resolution imagery of artworks featured on the art project site are owned by the museums, and these images are protected by copyright laws around the world. The Street View imagery is owned by Google. All of the imagery on this site is provided for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the art project site, in the manner permitted by Google’s Terms of Service.

Update: Unsurprisingly, given the use of Flash, it's buggy on a Mac. I had more luck using Chrome for OS X than using Safari. I created a shareable collection but it took a few tries to get it saved. Doubtless a part of Google Social to be. Did I mention Flash sucks?


Anonymous said...

I would argue that the reason flash is frustrating to you is because of the feud between Apple and Adobe rather than an intrinsic aspect of the platform.

The unfortunate thing about it being in flash has to do with the lack of flexibility that comes with not having direct access to the actual image.

Anonymous said...

I'd also add that looking at pieces like The Night Watch makes me realize how boring modern photographic portraits have become.

Even leaving aside the wonderful painting, the composition is far more interesting and varied than any group picture we see today. Today, everyone looks at the camera and has the same smile in a sea of faces against a bland background.