New to Digital culture: To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Google Street View makes the impossible possible
Digital culture: To celebrate its 15th anniversary, Google Street View makes the impossible possible
ANNIVERSARY For the 15th anniversary of Google Street View, the Invalides offer a nice surprise to the most curious Internet users
- Google Street View is celebrating its 15th anniversary on May 29.
- Since its beginnings, Google’s interactive map system has innovated a lot by offering new, more mobile and more powerful tools.
- The site also opens the doors of many cultural institutions, with recently the Army Museum and the Hôtel National des Invalides in Paris.
Fifteen years and 400 times around the world later, Google Street view promises many more years of innovation. In addition to the more pronounced use of artificial intelligence and augmented reality, the American giant’s tool is opening up to new places to discover. For fifteen years, Google Street View has captured more than 100 countries and intends to continue the journey by going beyond these 220 billion images accessible by everyone.
If we all know the famous “Google street car” that roams from city to city, the question of accessibility in places that are not is now raised. In fact, for years, Google Street View has wanted to make the capture as mobile as possible to access dangerous areas. A camera on a camel’s back in the desert or on a snowmobile in the middle of the Arctic ice pack, all options invented by Google to create the most immersive maps.
In 2023, Google Street View will even bring out its new jewel, a small robot with a Wall-E look, which will help to take pictures on board any vehicle. A feat because “all the load, resolution and computing power, until now integrated into a car, will now be available in a single camera weighing less than 7 kg, ultra-transportable and customizable,” says the Google team.
With these new tools, Google Street View intends to travel a little further … as far as the International Space Station (ISS) for example, as in 2017. During the expedition of French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, Google Street View allowed Internet users to discover the world of the capsule with a 360° view inside the station.
But if you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, Google Street View also allows you to discover many places appreciated by tourists and sometimes very secret. Third most visited site in the world on Google Street View, behind the Burj Khalifa of Dubai and the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal is full of inaccessible places. And while Google Street View had not even been launched in India, Internet users were able to make it possible to explore this unprecedented collection both inside and outside.
“A place with a thousand faces
Behind this wealth of images, Google boasts an ambition to open up to culture. For the past ten years, the Google arts and culture team has opened the doors of more than 2,000 cultural institutions around the world, in order to “feed the appetite of the online surfer”, underlines its partnership manager Pierre Caessa.
The most recent of these is the Musée de l’Armée et de l’Hôtel national des Invalides, which now wants to open up to Internet users by letting them discover its most secret walks. “A place with a thousand faces,” says Cécile Chassagne, head of the digital and innovation mission of the Musée de l’Armée et de l’Hôtel national des Invalides. Since Tuesday, the most curious can explore the Dome of the Invalides, get closer to the crypt of the tomb of Napoleon I or climb to the Lanternon, which reveals a panoramic view of Paris. “There is a spectacular side to the place, but also a hidden side. Whether it’s in the attic of the cathedral or in the frescoes, when you arrive in these places for the first time, it’s amazing and we wanted to share it with everyone,” says Cécile Chassagne.
A collaborative and evolving tool
To access these tight spots, the Parisian Google Street View team used a tripod this time, which can help capture this famous 360-degree image. Beyond its wide panorama, the tripod is also a formidable weapon. “There were still 107 meters of stairs and it was tiny,” says Pierre Caessa, supporting evidence with a video of stairs more than cramped. Even more exceptional, the shooting even allows the Internet user to perceive tiny details such as the inscriptions left by the painter Charles de La Fosse in the 18th century.
A partnership that is likely to last over time, assure both parties, who emphasize the richness of this collaborative tool where users can also capture their own landscapes. “It is so evolving,” says Pierre Caessa, assuring that beautiful surprises are still to come.