New Delhi: Google today released the first 360-degree online imagery of 30 iconic Indian heritage sites through Street View, with the support of the Archaeological Survey of India 360-degree online imagery (ASI). With this, people around the world will be able to explore the Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Qutb Minar and other national Indian monuments online on Google Maps and the Google Cultural Institute, and on the link g.co/treks.
ASI and Google are unveiling panoramic imagery of these 30 sites as part of their joint initiative to help make 100 of India’s most important heritage sites more accessible for the world to experience. In October 2013, Google had signed an agreement with ASI to create 360 degree online imagery of 100 of India’s most important heritage sites. In less than six months, Google has culminated the first phase of this project by unveiling imagery of 30 of these sites and targets to complete the next 70 in the next few months. The Indian monuments now live on Google Maps and Cultural Institute are all over 100 years old, and by allowing people to virtually explore them online, Google aims to help share more of Indian culture and heritage with people at home and abroad.
“Google is deeply committed to helping preserve and showcase cultural heritage across the world. India is unique in terms of the sheer wealth of heritage and iconic historical monuments, and it has been our privilege to work with the ASI in collecting new 360-degree photos of 30 Indian heritage sites. We hope the imagery will help make India’s heritage and culture more accessible to people at home and abroad,” said Rajan Anandan, Vice President and Managing Director, Google India.
Union Minister of Culture Smt. Chandresh Kumari Katoch, speaking on the occasion, urged educators to promote culture and heritage among children through technologies like these. “The images coming online today through Google Maps and the Google Cultural Institute provide a new way for people around the world to view, interact with, and learn about some of the most important heritage monuments in India. We hope this new way of exploring national treasures such as these heritage sites will help share more of India’s diverse culture with new audiences, and help preserve this part of India’s identity for generations to come,” said Pravin Srivastava, Director General of the ASI. He added that there are more than 3,600 monuments in India, and more people will visit India if these monuments are online.
To capture these imageries, Google used Street View Trekker, its newest Street View camera platform, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top. The Trekker features 15 lenses at the top of the mast, each pointed in a different direction that enables creating a 360-degree panoramic view. The Trekker is worn by an operator and is walked through pedestrian walkways or trails on foot, and automatically gathers images as it goes.
Source: Our correspondent