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Google Upgrades Art-Related Search Results & Adds Digital Museum Tour Guide Feature

* Google engineers partnered with their Arts and Culture team
* Enhanced results for art-related searches
* High-resolution image scans of over 15,000 works of art

According to Google, over 500 million art-related searches are conducted each month. Now, the search engine is implementing new ways to enhance viewing and learning about art by bringing in developments from their Arts and Culture department to improve the way their systems recognize and synthesize art-related content.

The new features will yield more specific and relevant results for art inquiries and related topics, with higher resolution imagery of over 15,000 works of art, allowing you to better understand the artist, the context, the materials used for the work, and in some cases to even see the work ‘in person.’

Another portion of the upgrade is that Google Maps will now offer virtual tours inside participating museums, acting as “digital museum guides,” through the Google Street View tool.

Now, art lovers can step inside some of the most renowned art museums around the world, from wherever they via their laptop or smartphone (only in the Google Chrome browser). Google demonstrates how the new functionalities work by searching for art nouveau’s poster child, Gustav Klimt.

“When you search an artist like Gustav Klimt, you’ll see an interactive Knowledge Panel that will highlight ways you can explore on a deeper level,” writes Google’s product manager Marzia Niccolai in their latest blog post. “Like seeing a collection of the artist’s works or even scrolling through the museums where you can view the paintings on the wall.” Using the zoom tool, you can zoom into the museum of choice, viewing close up shots of works of art as well as the curatorial notes, artist plaques and accompanying annotations.

The new features operate through Google’s machine learning software in a similar way as Google image results, relying on visual recognition technology to categorize over 15,000 notable works of art. As of now, 440 museums from around the world are participating in Google’s new digital museum guide tours. Noteworthy museums you can view through Google Street View include the J. Paul Getty Museum, The Louvre and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.