There are gender wars, and then there are casualties. It wasn’t until 2011 that the behemoth toymaker LEGO acknowledged girls’ desire to build with bricks, even though the company had long before made a seemingly effortless pivot to co-branding, video games, and major motion pictures. So it’s little wonder that girls face all-too-real obstacles when […]Read more
Real life has a close competitor in the “Art Project,” released by Google last week. Their initial release is a clean, inviting site for browsing over one thousand artworks from 17 of the world’s most famous museums. At least one piece from each of the 17 museums is displayed in gigapixel resolution, so that online visitors can zoom in to the brushstrokes. Each piece also has information about the artists, text or video commentary, bios, and links to related pieces. Some museums have 3D walk-throughs, analogous to Google’s map street views (there are 6000 3D panoramas), and there’s a way to create personal art “collections” to revisit or share later.
Like museums in the physical world, WebExhibits presents information that is, for the most part, timeless. Yet WebExhibits also demonstrates a radical departure from physical museums, in terms of 24/7 accessibility, adaptation to support multiple learning styles, and cost-effectiveness. As of October 2010, 75% of U.S. households have high-speed Internet access, and virtually all students have Internet access at schools or libraries.
Virtual exhibits are cost effective. It costs only a few pennies to serve a WebExhibits visitor, in contrast with a typical U.S. museum’s cost of $23 per visitor.