Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Research Resource: Google Cultural Institute

Google has been partnering with hundreds different cultural institutions including museums and archives to digitize collections and share them more widely with the Google Cultural Institute. The site includes a wide variety of exhibits ranging from art to landmarks to images and text. The data and information combined with the digital exhibits vary from exhibit to exhibit. Some exhibits have a ton of text to describe the materials, while others use mapping to give the user context. The different exhibits in Google’s Cultural Institute appear to differ just as all other museums and exhibits.

However, a user can do more than browse the collections. A user can save different items as well as create their own gallery. These two options can allow users to save their research on a platform that is easy to access that still contains the item’s metadata and zoom capabilities. By creating a gallery, a user can save groups of items that may be similar according to their own personal research or interests.

Furthermore, users can compare items side by side. They do this simply by dragging and dropping the items they want to compare into the compare tab at the bottom of the page. This tool allows the user see both items next to each other as well as allowing the zoom function to be used on each.

Finally, users are able to share items on a variety of different social media platforms and via email, this may help with sharing material with collaborators in any given project.