Google StreetView, in collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Ministry of Culture, shall be launched today at Qutab Minar, Delhi. At present the website shows just the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi, but the gallery shall expand soon to cover 360-degree panoramic visual imagery of hundred important national monuments. These 360-degree visuals shall be hosted on Google Earth, Google Maps and even on Google Cultural Institute (Google’s new initiative to collaborate with cultural institutions and museums to host artworks, paintings and monuments online).
In Phase-I, 24 world heritage sites shall be part of the online project, and the company claims to cover the next hundred sites within six months. Google will be taking its own photographs of the monuments, while ASI shall assist it with high-res images which shall be integrated into StreetView, detailing the images further. ASI shall also offer text describing the 3D images on Google Cultural Institute. To assist users with their navigation, architectural floor plans of the monuments shall be remodeled in the digital format. ASI Director General Pravin Srivastava stated, “We are hoping that this will also increase traffic at our monuments. It is possible that the online presence of monuments can ignite people’s curiosity enough to propel them to visit the sites.” Chandresh Kumari Katoch, Union Minister of Culture, added, “Through this partnership with Google, we hope to engage more people, both around the world and here in India, in discovering and learning about our country’s rich cultural history.”