In recent years, Google & # 39; s Arts & Culture project has been at the forefront of innovation in technology use to preserve landmarks and great artwork through digital 3D copies. Increasingly these efforts also give history lovers the chance to experience classical works and spaces with unparalleled intimacy through the wonders of augmented reality.
On Wednesday, the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), an organization that seeks architectural and archaeological sites, in collaboration with non-profit digital archive CyArk and Google Arts & Culture, launched Heritage on the Edge, an online hub of compelling experiences and models made based on 3D laser scans of historical sites.
The website documents five United Nations World Heritage Sites for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO), including the famous Easter Island statues, the adobe city of Chan Chan in Peru, the Edinburgh castle in Scotland, the coastal city of Kilwa Kisiwani in Tanzania and the mosque city of Bagerhat in Bangladesh, each of which has been damaged by the elements and climate change.
"The preservation and protection of the past is essential for our future, "said Dr. Toshiyuki Kono, president of ICOMOS and private international law and professor of heritage law at Kyushu University in Japan, in a statement. "Our 10,000 members around the world – including architects, archaeologists, geographers, planners and anthropologists – share the same vision: protecting and promoting the world's cultural heritage. The recent demonstrations of the youth climate have highlighted the urgency of the climate crisis which also has a devastating effect on our cultural monuments. It is important to take action and we must now take action to save this part of our human heritage. "
In addition to more than 50 web exhibitions, 3D models, Street View tours and interviews with experts. Google Arts & Culture organizes an augmented reality experience of the Nine Dome mosque in Bagerhat. With the Pocket Gallery feature on the iOS and Android app, the experience allows users to view a tabletop model in augmented reality and explore a 360-degree, life-size view of the site.
The Pocket Gallery is the seventh such AR experience hosted via the Google Arts and Culture app. The app has previously shared a gallery of works by Johannes Vermeer and The Art of Color, including paintings by Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.
The app also offers various other camera & # 39; s functions, including the art Projector, which places several famous works of art one by one in the user's physical space.
The Google Arts and Culture team also launched special AR apps in the same way for projects such as the Big Bang and remarkable women.
Although Google has implemented augmented reality in its various mobile apps over the past few years, the technology has been especially useful to the Google Arts & Culture team, giving fans of the arts and humanities the opportunity to virtually view paintings and artifacts in ways they might not otherwise be able to afford in the real world.