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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