My husband was exploring Berlin through Google Maps Streetview. He came to show me that Streetview in Berlin allows you to explore inside quite a few shops. While we virtually walked around Berlin together we got to Museum Island, where most of the museums in Berlin are situated. We then decided to see if we can go inside and it turns out we can!
Google maps allows you to explore museums from the comfort of your home, sharing rich collections with those not fortunate enough to experience them in person. The experience is the same as walking on the streets with StreetView.
The mobile application also has the option to move the phone around to explore the museums. This functionality allows users with virtual reality headsets (including the Google Cardboard) to explore the museums in a more immersive way.
Here are some links to the Museums in Berlin that we explored:
A hint that you can walk around a museum (which Streetview gives you) is the highlighting of the paths that you can take inside the museum. This highlighting occurs when holding the little Streetview man. Here is an example of the paths shown for one of the Museums in Berlin:
The blue dots are spots where you can stand with the Streetview man. The light grey/blue lines shown in the National Gallery, on the other hand, suggest that you can walk around with the Streetview man.
After we discovered this I started looking for a list of the museums that one can visit in this fashion around the world. This lead me to the discovery of Google’s Museum Views. I was impressed to find out that there are 1399 Museums documented by Google on this site! The project goes beyond that as it is part of a larger project called “Google Arts and Culture”. This larger project allows you to also explore opera houses, historical sites, etc.
I highly recommend that you try out these virtual museums. This is a great experience. This may also be a good guide for you to choose museums and historical sites to visit during your next holiday.
I am very glad that Google is doing this. It is a great effort for preservation as well as for historical education.