Getty museum gets Google-Goggled

The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles gets Google Goggle-enabled. Now, visitors can use the visual-search feature to snap photos of paintings for more details and commentary on the spot.


Here's one that's sure to make art lovers go googly-eyed. Google has teamed with the Getty museum in Los Angeles to bring its Google Goggles visual search feature to museum-goers.

This means Getty-goers with the Google Goggles app on their Android or iOS device can just point their gadget at any painting in the Getty museum's permanent collection to snap a picture and instantly access mobile-optimized versions of the work from around the Web.

They'll also be able to get audio commentary from curators and conservators and biographical information about the artist, and locate other works by the creator at the Getty. We're betting Google Goggles for Getty (try saying that 10 times fast) will also make a great tool for those who get museum overload and want to further reflect on the "Adoration of the Magi" once they've escaped the crowds.

Google first launched its search-by-site tool for Android phones in late 2009 and made it available for the iPhone about a year later. It can recognize books, album covers, artwork, landmarks, product logos, and more, and can also instantly translate text that has been captured by your phone's camera. Google refers to its Goggles search method as "computer vision."

The Getty says it's the first museum to work with Google to make its entire collection of paintings available virtually via Google Goggles. We'd love to see Goggles pop up at more museums, as long as people remember to turn their flashes off and look up while they're Google Goggling.

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.


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