One App: Virtual Tour of Over 1,200 Museums Around the World

Google Arts & Culture allows people to take a virtual tour of the collections from more than 1,200 museums. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

Feeling bored while sitting at home due to the CCP coronavirus lockdown? Why not take a tour of the various museums around the world? And you won’t even have to leave your home for it! Google Arts & Culture now allows people to view collections from more than 1,200 museums.

Virtual museums

“Using the same technology developed for Google Maps Street View, it enables users to ‘walk’ through world-famous galleries and museums and explore collections and exhibits, via clickable artworks offering further information, from the safety and comfort of their own homes. The move to virtual reality is enabling museums and galleries to continue to reach quarantined audiences, as well as enhance their offering with behind-the-scenes access and creative storytelling,” according to Australasian Leisure Management.

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Some of the famous museums that can be toured through the service include Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the National Museum in New Delhi, Rijks Museum in Amsterdam, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London, and the Tate in London. In addition, you can also tour cultural sites like the Chauvet Cave in France, a cave that has one of the earliest examples of prehistoric art.

(Image: Screenshot / YouTube)
In addition to famous museums, you can also tour cultural sites like the Chauvet Cave in France. (Image: Screenshot / YouTube)

According to Google, the virtual tour bridges 36,000 years of human history with modern technology. Google Trends indicates that the popularity of the service reached a high in March. This is when nations began quarantines and isolation of their citizens due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The Google Arts and Culture projected was started in 2011 and features sites from about 80 nations.

Though attendance in famous museums has remained steady or even improved in some cases, the same is not true for other lesser-known museums. In 2018, over 10 million people checked in at the Louvre in Paris. As far as the U.S. is concerned, the Metropolitan Museum of Art remains one of the most visited museums in the country. For others, like the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, administrators have had to resort to creative promotions to pull people in.

Last year, the museum held an exhibit titled “Extreme Sports Beyond Human Limits” that featured 18 extreme sports, from freediving to highlining. Virtual reality was also implemented to help visitors understand the science behind the sport. The organizers succeeded in getting traffic, especially from teens who were thrilled with the exhibition. “With technology, I just learned about the wingsuit and how it makes you fly and if you can dip down it shoots you up,” a 16-year-old teen said to 10News.

(Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science held an exhibit titled ‘Extreme Sports Beyond Human Limits’ that featured 18 extreme sports, from freediving to highlining. (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Art photo app

The Google Arts & Culture app recently launched a new feature called “Art Transfer.” Powered by Artificial Intelligence, the feature basically allows you to turn your photos into a popular art style from famous paintings. The app also provides information about the painting you have chosen to apply to the photo.

“Once you snap your photo and select a style, Art Transfer doesn’t just blend the two things or simply overlay your image. Instead, it kicks off a unique algorithmic recreation of your photo inspired by the specific art style you have chosen. And all of it happens right on your device without the help of the cloud or your image being processed online,” says Google’s official blog post.

Users looking for more customization options only need to click the scissors icon and they can quickly select the part of the image to which they wish to apply the style. Artists like Frida Kahlo, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, etc., are all featured in Art Transfer.

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