British Museum collections are now accessible through Google Street View

British Museum offers cyber tours via Google Street View

The British Museum has partnered with Google to offer tours of its collections via the Street View mapping tool.

Visitors can now peek into the museum’s halls and admire some 4,500 of its artefacts from the comfort of their living rooms.

The project, carried out in partnership with the Google Cultural Institute, is the biggest ever Street View project capturing an indoor space.

The Google Cultural Institute has used indoor mapping to create a virtual version of the museum and its permanent exhibits that are all displayed as high definition images and possible to view from different angles.

"The world today has changed, the way we access information has been revolutionised by digital technology,” said Neil MacGregor, the director of the British Museum. “This enables us to give the enlightenment ideal on which the museum was founded a new reality.”

To create the virtual model, Google used technology called gigapixel, which captures more detailed images and enables a high level of zoom for examining objects.

"We're extremely proud to support the British Museum in their mission to be a museum of the world, for the world, through technology,” said Amit Sood, the director of the technology firm's Cultural Institute.

"It's an incredible thought that now anyone, anywhere can experience the riches of their expertly curated collection, which is probably the most comprehensive survey of the material culture of humanity in existence."

The virtual tours work on computers and mobile devices alike.

To celebrate the launch, Google has put a link to the British Museum tour  on the homepage of its search engine.


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