Hyderabad: Google Inc. is collaborating with Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to create panoramic imagery of 100 Indian heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal, Khajuraho monuments in Madhya Pradesh and the Ajanta and Ellora caves in Aurangabad.
The California-based technology firm will deploy Street View Trekker, a wearable backpack with a camera system on top that captures 360-degree views of a location every 2.5 seconds. The size of a hiking bag, the device is equipped with 15 lenses pointing in different directions to automatically gather images as a wearer walks around a location.
“In a country like India, where we have the world’s second-largest population and 5,000 years of history, rich in cultural diversity, technology can help us share the Indian experience with the rest of the world—and each other—more effectively than ever before,” Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google India, said in a statement on Thursday.
The high quality images of the heritage sites will be published on Google Maps and World Wonders project within Google’s Cultural Institute. World Wonders features 132 historic sites from 18 countries.
Google said it will work with ASI to deploy the devices from Thursday.
In June, Google said it would loan the 4 feet-tall camera equipped backpacks, weighing 1.8 kg each, to tourism boards, non-profits, universities and research organisations that can help it collect images of remote places that are difficult to access.
“We believe that the new panoramic imagery of 100 Indian monuments will not only allow people to interact with our country’s culture in new ways but also digitally preserve India’s heritage for future generations,” said Pravin Srivastava, director general of ASI.
Previous candidates that have been part of this project include the biodiversity hotspot of Galapagos Islands in Ecuador where Charles Darwin studied many species, the base camp of Mount Everest in Nepal, Eiffel Tower in Paris, the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, Grand Canyon and Kennedy Space Centre in the US, and the Great Barrier Reef along Australia.
Upcoming projects include Venice in Italy, Google said on the project’s microsite.