Two resources created by Google have popped onto my radar screen this week that will certainly be valuable for educators; Google Body and Google Art Project.
Google Art Project is a series of interactive virtual tours of some of the worlds top art galleries built using the same technology that powers Google Maps. You can take virtual tours of the Museum of Modern Art and view works of art like van Gogh’s The Starry Night in incredible detail. Here are some screen captures I took of a close up of this work.
Now, I am no Art student, but even I can see the inherent value for a student to have access to this level of detail as they understand the techniques of the masters. How much pressure did they use? How did they mix the paint to achieve those colours? What brush did they use to achieve this or that effect? You just can’t get this type of perspective by viewing the work from behind a rope 15 feet away from it.
The second resource is Google Body, an interactive 3d model of the human body (this one requires Google Chrome, Firefox 4, or another browser that currently support WebGL to get the full effect). This is an immersive 3d body simulation that looks to me like it was built using similar technologies to Google Earth. You can fly around and into the body at different angles, strip away layers and examine the body from it’s various system perspectives. If you don’t have a browser capable of viewing, here is a short video of the technology in action (there is no audio with the video):