There is little doubt that Google is the 800lb Lowland Gorilla of the internet. To cross them means almost certain death. They have a huge influence on the internet. I am not always in agreement with the company, and it can certainly be argued that they have created as many problems as they have fixed. The vast majority of web spam sites make money from having Google ad’s. Yes it is a fine line they walk. But Google also has a brighter side. Many of their offerings are not just creative, they are monumental in both scope and depth.

The latest roll out is a case in point www.googleartproject.com. They have taken the Google StreetView concept into some of the worlds finest art galleries. You can walk through them and when a painting catches your eye, it is yours to enjoy in megapixel (really high quality) resolution. Just like StreetView you can zoom in or out.

The interface for Art Project is a little different from other Google products, it is far richer in style. It is slick, and delightfully moorish rather like fine chocolate. Whats not to love about taking a gentle stroll through some of the worlds finest art galleries? You can move at your own pace, you can study these great works of art at your leisure.

I discovered a great feature in Art Project, Viewing Notes. These notes about a painting are very well done. They were obviously not put together by a bunch of yahoos (oops I didn’t mean to disparage another web site). A good case in point is Diego Velazquez, 1599-1660, his painting Luncheon may not be as famous as some, but in the art world is speaks volumes.

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In the notes they make the very astute observation that Diego Velazquez was very much from the school of Caravaggio. One glance at this picture reveals all.

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Boy Bitten By A Lizard

The Google Art Project has my backing (not that my endorsement is worth anything). Art is something that needs to be shared. Google found resistance when they tried putting books online, art is a different beast, There is only one genuine painting, to share pictures of it with the world is an awesome development.

Having put Google Art project on a pedestal I will now bring out my gripes. The search ability is non existent. It is odd, Google are the kings of search, but I cannot search for a particular painter. I am sure that this feature will be added soon.

I really like this new Google adventure, it brings treasures from far away to your computer.

Simon Barrett

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