Google Street View to Photograph Music Museum

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Google Maps will be photographing an interior “street view” of the National Music Museum this week. This amazing museum, which is located in Vermillion, South Dakota, will be the first music-focused collection to be added to the interior portions of Google’s street view feature.

Google’s team will take high-resolution, continuous photos of the various music exhibits within the museum this Friday. Using a 7-foot trolley equipped with the same camera they utilize when mapping streets, they plan to capture a stunning, real-life perspective of the gallery. This endeavor will allow anyone in the world to virtually view all of the ornate and priceless musical instruments on display, without ever leaving their home.

But will a complete Google street view of the museum be bad for business, or reduce the number of visitors? Margaret Banks, the museum’s Associate Director and Senior Curator of Musical Instruments, doesn’t think so. “It’s just another way to get our instruments and our artwork out there, to let the world know that we’ve got a real jewel in the state of South Dakota,” she explained.

She also sees it as a unique opportunity to show off high-quality pictures of the pieces online. Efforts have been made in the past to showcase items on their website, but she admits that having a collection of over 15,000 beautiful instruments makes it a daunting task. “It’s like picking out which of your children you like best,” Banks said.

Piotr Adamcyzk, Program Manager with Google’s Cultural Institute, feels the comprehensive images will actually bring more traffic to the museum. “It’s going to be terrific to see the kind of exposure they can get alongside some of the big names,” he said. Some of the big names he is referring to include the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which have already been included in Google’s museum-mapping project.

If you want to see some of the most extraordinary musical instruments in the world, keep an eye out for the National Music Museum’s new coverage on Google Maps in the coming months. Once their trolley makes its passage this Friday, it will take about 6-8 weeks for the team to stitch the photos together and create the full virtual tour.