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Tag "Google Street View"

Google Street view is now continuing inside, at least for some of the words most important museums. Using the same technology Google has started the Google Art Project, making museums virtually accessible. Together with the indoor navigation a selection of paintings can also be seen and navigated in a Google Maps style in great detail. You can get up very close to Chris Ofilli’s ‘No Woman No Cry’ at the Tate Britain. Close enough to see the individual dots of paint. In this case you can even switch to night view mode to see the fluorescent second layer of the painting. This of course applies also for all the other paintings marked with a pus sign, were you can study the details of Van Gogh’s brush stroke for example.

Image taken from the Google Art Project / Chris Ofilli’s No Woman No Cry at the Tate Britain in London, United Kingdom.

Earlier, back in 2008 the Kremer Collection was one of the first to offer such a detailed look at paintings using the Google Maps style navigation and zoom function. The software used back then was the ImgeCutter software developed at CASA.

There is currently quite a lot of development going on with these digital visualisation and visiing technologies. From video street view to panoramic street view with street slides of bing maps, featured last week on digital urban.

Image taken from the Google Art Project / Detail of Chris Ofilli’s No Woman No Cry at the Tate Britain in London, United Kingdom. See the night view HERE.

After the Street View Project and earlier the Slope View for the Winter Games in Vancouver this is now a further step applying the technology in large public buildings.
It does require a bit of patience and an effort for not losing the orientation, since the museums network of possible routes is a lot more complicated than the roads. This is mainly down to distance and size. almost wich each click new route choices apply, this will keep you on your toes. In comparison the street view is relaxed with sometimes many clicks between crossroads.

However, the new project lets you browse 385 rooms in 17 galleries, and see more than 1,000 works by 486 artists. This includes galeries such as the National Gallery in London, the Tate Britain, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence or the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

Image taken from the Google Art Project / A visit to the Palace of Versailles, France on the Google Art Project.

Google seems very interested in getting many different aspects of ‘knowledge’ represented through their technologies and after the Book Project this is now the art project. Of course the paintings remain property of their owners and remain copyright projected but are virtually accessible through this Google Service.

These copyright issues seem still very constraining. Some of the museums have surprisingly little rooms accesible on the database so far. It is unclear whether this project will extend and in what time frame. If you peak through doorways into rooms that are not accessible on this virtual tour the buildings are blurred as known from the Street View. This looks rather disturbing, probably more so than in the street scenes.

Ultimately notable is the change in design stile. It is a great relief to see that Google has adopted different style for this project and not using the comic, round edge, many colour approach that has become iconic for their brand. It would have been ridiculous to show these works in such a context. The only thing they coud not get to follow this new style is the page icon displayed in the browser tab.

On the navigation side, Google has decided to drop the view lines used in Street view. For this indoor version the user only has arrows to click on. There are usually is or eight arrows used for one point to allow for more detailed navigation. However, it is still difficult to just move slightly to one side and look beyond this annoying pillar, as for example in the State Hermitage main gallery. In general the navigation is much more free than experienced before and also works by just clicking on a doorway to get into the next room. The session will also remember the previous location in each museum. If you decide to look at some other paintings you can always jump back were you have left off, quite helpful.

Google has also added additional navigation features such as foor plans. As well as contextual information to the museum and the art work in a side frame. It is also possible to create a personal art collection by adding paintings to the collection. And Google has also embedded a sort of a social tool, where people can start a discussion about paintings by leaving comment.

However, with the navigation and the representation there is a very big remaining question regarding the architecture. All the museums are set in a very grand building and the experience of space, sequence, material and light , to name a few is in most cases very grand and worth the visit in itself. This is not the case in street view. On the contrary Google has managed to kill any such experience and completely flatten it out, architecture is dead.

Possible though, it would require rather little to take this in to account and the contextual setting of the individual art works could be part of the experience. On of these options would be to introduce a proper starting point or entrance to each museum. Currently the virtual visitor is simply dumped in one of the rooms in front of a painting at selecting the museum. Since many of the rooms at first glance look very similar it is very difficult to orientate or even know which museum one is visiting. If it is as in the case of the MoMa, where the starting point is in the entrance hall one is lost all together. The introduction of a stronger spatial narrative would definitely make a difference.

The quality of the images is possibly another issue. The different museum or rooms in the museums are not all being translated well into the digital format. Some seem to fit better than other. Especially the lighting quality seems to be very tricky to capture on camera. Appears the MoMa in New York very poor quality is on the other hand the Palace of Versailles is a lot more lively. Generally it can be said that the museums using colour tains on their walls come across a lot better than the white boxes. In a side note, this might change architecture trends if this technology becomes more trendy.

Image taken from the Google Art Project / A visit to the Gemaeldegalerie in Berlin, Germany on the Google Art Project. The blue colour makes for a better quality image than most of the white rooms used in the other museums.

In terms of art and culture communication it will be very interesting to see how this influences the way the institutions are communicating about their works and collection. Potentially one can think of many applications including works discussions and art education. We will see how this develops.

Of course it would be great if this technology could move away form this simple panning style of navigation towards a more spatial representation of navigation. Also the respect for the architecture or een more important the spatial and sequential quality of the building would greatly enhance the experience. But for now we have to live with this, which good for a quick ok around the galeries and see some exciting art work one would maybe never or not for a long time see in its context.

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Marketing is always at the forefront of technology and rather quick in adapting and employing new tools. So it is not surprising to see the location visualisation tools being taken over by advertisement. Especially Google Products, that offer and actively promote an API are bound to this. Marketing as Marketing one could say.

Besides all this corporate battle and consumerism this development is interesting in an urban and very much spatial sense. A wider audience is engaged in virtual location based activities and starts to create a sort of virtual image of the city, in the sense of Kevin Lynch, based on the view the mainly commercial products offer. In a sense this shapes a paralel understanding of the environment we live in the data providers play more important role in this than probably thought of at first sight.

It would be interesting to see how the growing online representation of the local environment diverts from the mental map of the physical environment. Very soon the two can not be separated any longer.

Image taken from DontGoZombie / giving away free virgin trin tickets to car-driving zombies on Tottenham Court Road. Note the traffic enforcement officer in the zombie crowd – she is not a car driver, is she? Individual zombies will have a special comment to make, so has the traffic warden. Click the image to play.

Anyway Virgin Train has extended their Zombie Campaign to the online world of Google Street View. an invites customers to playfully save the zombies using Vigin Train tickets.

“The streets have been taken over by frustrated car-driving zombies who need to be saved. The streets need you!” The aim of the game is to turn the zombies into train passengers and get to the destination. This as well as the route to get there, depend on the starting point you provide using a post code. In this sense it is a virtually location based first person shooter.

Directions and handling are familiar from the street view use and the zombies are deployed by an orange van crossing the screen a times.

The zombies behave sort of behaving absent, aimlessly wandering, will however, occasionally sight you and try to tun you into a zombie. It is the sort of everyday urban battle scene. Though, your argument is quite convincing since your are giving away seemingly free tickets for Virgin Train journeys with your handheld Ticket machine. These papers unfold a rather transformatory inpact on individual zombies, bringing them back as humans and beaming them presumably onto the next platform at Euston Station where they get shipped north.

Virgin Train Network
Image taken from Virgin Trains / Where the free ticket potentially might take the zombies. So beware at any of these destinations of zombies emerging from the trains. Who knows what happens to the zombies turned train passengers upon emerging from the comfort of a vigin train trip.

The worst that can happen to you is that you go zombie and join the ranks of zombie car-drivers. However there is a rescue option by inviting your facebook friends to join the game and rescue you. This is clever marketing playing the drums in multiple orchestras.

Found via Google Geo Developers Blog.

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What’s this oversized feather and headless rooster in Google Street View doing on the free plot next to the road? It is actually a massive ‘poulet’ and it didn’t get there by chance, did it?
As it stands Google Street View gets actually quite boring after the first rush of voyeurism has sort of worn out a bit, but there is something very exciting about this.

Image taken from Google Street View / The chicken at Arch Street/Sampsonia Way crossing.

After these only two years since Google started rolling out the Street View ‘service’ it ha become so everyday that there is little excitement attached to it anymore. It is handy though at times.
I was reminded of the Street View ‘service’ a couple of days ago through the ‘The Wilderness Downtown‘ project which reinterprets ‘We Used To Wait’ by Arcade Fire as a music video which was run through Google Chrome as an HTML 5 promotion. It is great though and producer Chris Milk makes good use of Street View. However, surprisingly few projects have really picked up on the service and used it as raw data or working tool. It has in certain field rather produced a sort of repulsion and anti Google projects were developed as in F.A.T.

However, in the early days, and this was back in 2008, a more subtile project was actually integrated directly with the raw data, the images recorded by the official Google Street Car. “On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way.” (StreetWithAView)

The resulting images still form part of the imagery accessible through the Google Map platform via Street View. Hewlett and Kinsley staged a series of street scenes around Sampsonia Way in Pittsburg including a Mad Scientists Lab or a Garage Band which was recorded by the passing Google Street View car.

The artists have arranged for a great variety of different activities or scenes across the relatively short length of the road. A complete list of scenes can be found HERE.

Image taken from Google Street View / The mad scientists lab.

In the making of clip, below, the artists explain the idea. Note how they struggle to explain what Street View actually is: a sort of Quick Time VR for all the road in the city. By now this has changed and Street View as in how-it-works-what-it-is has become a brand and is a term at the same time. Much as Google is for finding something on the internet.

As such the project should actually have had more of an impact and could even in terms of city marketing have a relevance. The ‘location factor’ has in the past couple of years had a dramatic impact on location and place and the project beautifully illustrates how it could be performed on a rathe rough and globally accessible level.

More so, than opposing and attempting to legally argue about privacy, vintage point and the hight of a fence, communities could in a collaborative effort put together a live show of the neighbourhood and stage their local area as a place as unique and divers as the people who live in it. So get our friends together check the Google Street View car schedule and make up your story of the Neighbourhood. Now thats a show.

Image taken from Google Street View / The carnival scene

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The Google Earth Guys are back! You for sure remember their hilarious trip around the planet in their car to ‘Street View’ the roads of our world. The guys are created by Dan Meth and College Humor has brought us the great conversations Evan and Mike have while driving. Now they are back with a new journey for the two hard working, company dedicated employees. Of course the animation uses Google Earth imagery, off you go:

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Now that the whole of the UK is is covered by Google Street View, will the Google car disappear as a species from the streets? Many don’t believe it would and this not only because Google might want to update the views. Maybe just because it has become impossible to stop the drivers. See the hilarious clip on digitalUrban. However some people have grown so fond, or indeed started hating Google so much they might start their own project either way. You can now build your own Google Street View car. You have to start from scratch, though, but most likely you already own most of the ingredients needed.

What better way to explore the urban streets around you than in a pimped car in Street View style? The detailed instructions can be found HERE. And this really means detailed instruction. Yu will learn that this project need (x2) wooden board 40 x 23 x 1 cm (center box) and (x1) 50 meter roll of white duct tape for example. For full details refer to fffff.at
The prototype was developed by F.A.T. for a workshop in Berlin last year. They are very much anti Google and make the most of taking the piss out of the big brand, and marketing wise this is definitely a strategy for an art project. Here is the documentation clip posted on vimeo (includes some background and detail) by F.A.T. Some scenes are stunts, where other are real, never mind.

via urbanophil

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Google street view has been introduced back in 2007 and it is already part of everyday navigation. The initial hype ha settled, at least in countries were it is introduced now for more than a year like the UK. In others legal battles and other misunderstandings are still under way.
However Google is never short of news stories and with the upcoming Winter Olympics in Vancouver they have taken Street View to the slopes and enable everyone with access to the internet to see the beautiful landscape and ski slopes the athletes will be heading down next week in detail along the tracks. Picked up as reported by the Google Lat Long Blog or Gizmodo.
The area covered so far is Vancouver at Whistler Mountain where the Winter Olympics 2010 start on the 12th, which is on Friday.

Image taken from Gogle Slope (Street) View / Vancouver Whistler Mountain

You can test it right here. Put on your skis your already on the slope!

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Documentation here in the clip with details of how it was recorded.

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Driving around Paris from you comfy chair is obviously possible nowadays using Google Street View. You can zoom along the road.
Video by coprod.fr, music Phoenix – Liztomania

Google Street View challenge /2009 from CorentinZ on Vimeo.

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