Visit the Prado Art Collection with Google Earth

Thankfully, it’s not all bad news here in Silicon Valley. Yesterday, Google and the Prado (the major art museum in Madrid) announced that you can launch Google Earth from wherever you live, travel virtually to Spain, and then take a close look at fourteen of the museum’s finest paintings. And, by “close,” I mean close. According to a Google spokesman said: “The paintings have been photographed in very high resolution and contain as many as 14,000 million pixels (14 gigapixels).” “With this high level resolution you are able to see fine details such as the tiny bee on a flower in The Three Graces (by Rubens), delicate tears on the faces of the figures in The Descent from the Cross (by Roger van der Weyden) and complex figures in The Garden of Earthly Delights (by El Bosco).” The fourteen paintings include pieces by Francisco de Goya, Diego Velázquez and Hieronymus Bosch. You can begin the tour (and get Google Earth software) from this landing page. The video below also offers a nice visual illustration of what this project is all about. (A quick tip: if you have Google Earth, make sure that you have “3D Buildings” checked off under “Layers.” Then do a search for “Prado” and click on “Museu del Prado.” From there, click on the image of the museum. Next, you should see a series of paintings that you can begin to explore.)

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