Google India extended their 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 can be viewed via the Google Cultural Institute, the company says. The current batch includes imagery from 76 historical sites including Ellora Caves, Purana Quila and Safdarjung Tomb, among others.
The 360-degree panoramic images are collected using the Street View technology with support from the Archaeological Survey of India and are viewable via Google Earth, Google Maps and the Google World Wonders project.
The partnership will also allow several new arts and historical institutions to display exhibitions of various photographs, prints and paintings on the Google Cultural Institute. The new participating institutions include the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Daricha Foundation, Pazor Foundation, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research. The five institutes already part of this initiative, Delhi’s National Museum, Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art, Jana Natya Manch, Archive of India and the ASI, will also release new content with this update. These exhibitions can be viewed here.
Google had initially begun its partnership with the ASI in October 2013 when it announced plans to create 360-degree street view imagery of 100 heritage sites. 30 sites were added by Google in February including the Taj Mahal. The current launch of 76 new sites takes the total to over 100 heritage sites fulfilling their initial partnership.
Street View in India
Google had initially extended its Street View project to India in May 2011, with the pilot project in Bangalore. A month later, Google was forced to stop collecting Street View data after receiving a letter from the Commissioner of Police.
In April 2013 the Survey of India (SOI) filed a complaint against Google India for its Google Mapathon competition held between Feb-March 2013. In this contest participants are asked to map their locality. Apparently certain sensitive defence installations had also been mapped. At present the case is being investigated by the CBI’s cyber security cell.
Google also had a trial run of its Business Photos initiative of May 2012 where 360-degree pictures of business location interiors were uploaded with the permission of business owners to offer interactive virtual tours to its potential customers. The initiative was officially launched in February 2013 in 8 cities with plans to extend to another 20 cities.
In September 2013, Google partnered with Sula’s Vineyard Resort to add 360 degree imagery of the resort, as a first Street View of private properties.