Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Viewing Art in Google Maps

Goya Map

The Google Earth Blog reported yesterday that Google Earth have added a layer for the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid, Spain. The layer lets you view 14 paintings from the museum which have been scanned at ultra-high resolution and are now viewable using the Google Earth navigation tools.

Soren Johannessen was so impressed with this new layer that he wondered if it was possible to do something possible with the Google Earth Browser plug-in. Guess what - it is.

Here's a screencast:

The Third of May 1808 - Franciso Goya from Keir Clarke on Vimeo.

Soren's map embeds Francisco Goya's The Third of May 1808 into the Google Earth Browser. As you can see from the screencast above the painting's location is initially shown by a camera icon. Double clicking on the camera takes you into the painting. Once the painting opens you can then use the Google Earth navigation tools to move around in the painting and zoom in to see details in the painting at incredibly close quarters.

As well as creating the Google Earth layer The Prado is also going to post one of its paintings on Google Maps every day for the next two weeks. You can see the first painting, Las Meninas by Velázquez, here.

The navigation tools that you can see in the top right corner of the painting allow the viewer to zoom in on details in the picture.

Ice Scene Near An Inn by Isack van Ostade

On a related topic I have been working on a YouTube presentation of the Isack van Ostade painting Ice Scene Near an Inn. The painting is part of the amazing Kremer Collection, which you can view using the Google Maps API.

I created a screencast of the painting and then used the YouTube API to caption the video. In this way it is possible to create interesting presentations of art works using the Google Maps API and YouTube.


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