Google Open Gallery and Web Publishing

Google Open Gallery

Google Open Gallery

Many of you may already be familiar with the work of the Google Cultural Institute, such as the Google Art Project and numerous historical exhibitions. Yesterday, Google announced on it’s Europe blog that that technologies behind it’s Cultural Institute projects would be available to anyone wanting to organize and publish an exhibit.

Valentina Palledino, a writer for The Verge, describes Google Open Gallery as the love child between Flickr and Behance. Offering a clean, streamlined look with zoom capabilities, users many simply upload images and video and add Street View imagery and text to create engaging exhibitions.

Users must currently request an invitation to start creating exhibitions. Content is hosted on Google servers, and so users would be wise to create a backups exhibitions in the scenario that Open Gallery joins the list of retired Google services.

Current exhibitions have been produced from institutions such as the Belgian Comic Strip Center, Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, and the Museum of Bad Art.

In addition, for those lucky few traveling to Paris this winter break, Google has also opened the Lab at the Cultural Institute. This physical space is “where the worlds of culture and technology are brought together to discuss, debate and explore new ideas. It’s also where [Cultural Institute Employees] don our white coats and test out things like 3D scanners, million pixel cameras, interactive screens and more, working with museums to try them out inside their spaces to get their feedback. (Google Blog).

Online exhibition publishing for the masses isn’t a terribly new idea, however. Omeka is still a leader in this field, offering robust options for those wanting to host content on their own servers and also for those wanting to simplify with a hosted version. The University of Illinois Library maintains an institutional subscription to Omeka.net (the hosted version) for current students, faculty, and staff.

Scalar is a new, open source web publishing platform available, and is still in development. However, users may access the beta version, which is still fairly robust. This tool also has growing support at the University of Illinois; a series of workshops about Scalar occurred this past semester, and there may be more to come in the future.

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