By Paige Gherardi
Thanks to the Google Art Project, which brings 17 world famous museums to life through similar technology used for Google Maps Street View, the Uffizi Gallery has seen a dramatic increase in both real and virtual visits. The Uffizi tracked its attendance numbers since the inauguration of these virtual tours, which had an immediate reaction of almost 10,000 visits. In the days and weeks following the Project launch the museum had over 3,000 virtual visitors per day. To give an idea of the quality Google Art Project brings to virtual visits, Botticelli's Venus was captured in a high resolution image of 17 billion pixels. This new partnership with Google is also helping the Uffizi Gallery direct traffic on the web to their official site, which steers patrons away from the many websites that sell advance tickets for almost double the cost of museum entrance. It was unclear what the results of the Google Art Project would be, but it has proven to stimulate interest in the Uffizi and give those who cannot visit it personally the opportunity to see its timeless collections.
To see the Uffizi Gallery and other museums go to www.googleartproject.com. It is also possible to see the inside of museums using Google Maps but it does not give you a floor plan or guide to famous works of art.