We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Google Arts & Culture is one of the must underrated and under-promoted products of Google. It allows you to visit more than 1,500 museums in 70 countries, without having to leave the comfort of your couch or spend hundreds of dollars. Of course, visiting the actual museums and exhibits is still the best thing, but the app is the next best option for most. And now, you can add 3D virtual tours of heritage sites to the things that you can explore there.
Google has partnered with CyArk, a non-profit organization that has the “largest and most detailed 3D digital archive of endangered wonders of the world. Founder Ben Kacyra realized that in using technology, they will be able to preserve these sites, which are in danger from natural disasters, war, and even tourism, at least virtually for future generations. And now we will be able to access some of these 3D exhibits, complete with full detail, color and texture of surfaces, and even the geometry, captured by their precise laser scanners.
The exhibit contains 25 iconic locations across 18 countries. These include the Eim Ya Kyaung temple in Bagan, Myanmar which was damaged by an earthquake in 2016. You also have the Al Azem Palace in Damascus which has also been damaged by the ongoing civil war. The ancient Mayan temple of Chichen Itza in Mexico can also now be virtually explored through the app. ‘
Just search for CyArk in the Google Arts & Culture app so you can explore the intricate 3D models that they have developed in partnership with Google. You can even look through every angle by using the Google Poly 3D Viewer. They’re also opening up the source data that CyArk was able to collect and you can apply to download the data through the Google Cloud Platform.