If you’ve been following the Google Art Project at all, you know the company has been scanning pictures in museums to make it easier for a broader public to have access to the works. This project is much like Google’s long-delayed plan to scan books from the world’s major libraries so all of the world’s knowledge is accessible.
Now Google announces they’ve built a new camera that gets the scanning done much faster, according to TechCruch. (Click on the image above or here to see a video explaining the camera.)
Google has already shared around 200 gigapixel images online during the Google Cultural Institute’s first five years, but the process before was slower, and involved highly specialized and expensive equipment, as well as highly trained individuals capable of doing the job. Now it has a smart robotic camera that can do the job instead, and much more quickly. Instead of a day, it could take just 30 minutes to scan a painting.
That means Google will be able to greatly increase the number of these images made available to web surfers. In fact, it has already scanned another 1,000 images over the past few months with its new cameras. A small fleet of the cameras are also being loaned out to art museums for free. Not only will it help to bring more art online in detail, it can also help museums share those works that are fragile, sensitive to light and humidity, and can’t always be on display.