Google has just unveiled the Google Art Project, which offers some amazing tools to help art lovers explore the venues and paintings that they enjoy.
One of the neatest new features is the “brushstroke-level detail“, which allow you to see some of the images in astoundingly high resolution; nearly 7 billion pixels, roughly 1,000 times higher quality than you can capture with a digital camera. For an example of one, check out “The Merchant Georg Gisze” and use the [+]/[-] controls in the upper left corner to zoom in and out.
The other great new feature they’ve added is Street View imagery inside of many of the world’s most famous galleries. To view them from Google Maps, simply go to maps.google.com/museums and browse the list of museums on the left.
Even better is that you can view all of them from Google Earth, as long as you’re running Version 6. To enter a museum, simply grab the “Peg Man” from your controls in the upper-right corner and drag him onto one. You’ll see the blue Street View lines appear more “blob-like” over museums, as seen below:
This kind of imagery is currently available for 17 galleries, including places such as the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (KML), the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (KML), and the National Gallery in London (KML).