Google Cultural Institute (GCI) has been working on it’s Art Project since early 2011. The purpose of this project is to take ultra-high resolution images of artworks from around the world. These images are then uploaded to their website, where people can view them and appreciate art for free.
These images that you see however aren’t just high resolution, they are actually “gigapixel images”. These images are made by stitching together thousands of high resolution images and contain over a billion pixels, therefore allowing viewers to pan and zoom around to explore everything in very high levels of detail.
To make this job easier, Google has create it’s own unique camera called the Art Camera, which uses special techniques to capture these images a lot faster and with more precision than before.
It does that with the help of a robotic system which automatically steers the camera from one point to another over an artwork. In-built laser and sonar technologies make sure that the camera is correctly focused on each brushstroke, and at the right angle.
This level of precision is what lets a person see individual brush-strokes up close as well as the pattern that knits them together. It’s not just a way to make art viewable, but also a tool to preserve artistic records in the highest detail possible.
The great thing about the camera is, that, it can capture artworks without moving them at all. This saves precious time, as well as makes sure there is no potential risk in the process.
Google worked extra hard to make sure that the camera was portable as well, so that it could be sent to institutions around the world to continue documenting artworks.
Through this effort, Google is giving art lovers all over the world, a chance to truly appreciate the art they love, while sitting in their own homes.