Aug 26, 2016

Google to help Indian Railways digitize Heritage assets



Indian Railways is collaborating with the Google Cultural Institute to exhibit its heritage assets like bridges, steam locomotives, buildings, artifacts and museums over the latter’s platform. The agreement will help the Railways digitize its assets which can then be accessed online for free.

The Railways also plans to launch a dedicated rail heritage website as well, although it does not provide a timeline for it. Other than this, the Railways claims it is in the process of preparing a comprehensive conservation management program to preserve and promote its heritage assets. The agency will also eventually offer online and virtual tours as ‘tourist attractions’.
The GCI project from Google helps digitize historical exhibits, collections, galleries from museums all over the world and display it online in a viewable format. It was launched globally in 2011 and in India in 2012, by initially partnering with the National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. Currently, GCI works with more than 18 Indian institutions.

New features and locations: In July this year, GCI updated its website and app to allow users to browse the history and view panoramic imagery of historical sites like the Nalanda University. Additionally the company added new features like scrolling through art using a timeline and browsing painting based on color. It also started allowing features like using VR headsets for virtual tours.

GCI partnership with Indian Museum: In May this year, the GCI added 360-degree panoramic format images of artifacts, historical paintings and sculptures from within the galleries of Indian Museum. The company said then that all of the 35 physical galleries across categories like Art, Archaeology, Anthropology, etc. from the Indian Museum in Kolkata will be digitized under the GCI project.

GCI partnership with National Museum: In August last year, the GCI added over 2,000 new images and 70 virtual exhibits from India, in partnership with the National Museum. At that time, GCI said that it will be digitizing material from 10 other partner institutions, namely the Salar Jung Museum, Victoria Memorial Hall Kolkata, Dastkari Haat Samiti, Devi Art Foundation, among others.

The GCI project from Google helps digitize historical exhibits, collections, galleries from museums all over the world and display it online in a viewable format. It was launched globally in 2011 and in India in 2012, by initially partnering with the National Museum and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi. Currently, GCI works with more than 18 Indian institutions.

Other developments:

– In March this year, Google added panoramic views of 31 monuments and Indian archaeological sites on Google Maps and the Google Cultural Institute. The ASI hadlaunched a national portal for museums. Collections in all museums under its control and those under the ASI would be digitized and presented on this portal.

– In August last year, Google India extended its partnership with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) by adding 360-degree panoramic images of 76 new heritage sites to Google Maps. Additionally, 30 exhibitions of arts and historical institutions and over 1400 cultural objects from India could be viewed via the Google Cultural Institute.