Google’s New Gigapixel Camera Digitizes Fine Artworks in Greater Detail Than Ever Before

The Google Cultural Institute has developed a super hi-res camera to help museums throughout the world digitize priceless artworks in greater detail than ever before. The custom built Google Art Camera is a robotic unit that captures hundreds of hi-res, close-up images of a painting, which are then stitched together using special software.

The Institute is an online repository of digitized artworks, and has recently added over 1000 pieces to their catalog thanks to the Art Camera which is not only more capable, but much faster than the previous process. You can view the Art Camera results on the Institute’s website, where you’ll be able to explore works by Monet, O’Keeffe, Van Gogh and others in amazing detail.  

Prior to the advent of this new tool, Google had only digitized some 200 artworks over the past five years. The Cultural Institute’s Technical Program Manager Marzia Niccolai told The Verge that, “The capture time has been reduced dramatically. Previously it could take almost a day to digitize an image.” Niccolai adds that now, thanks to the new Art Camera, a one meter by one meter painting can be digitized in about 30 minutes. You can see more in the video below.