15 January 2009

Google Earth meets The Prado

The Sydney Morning Herald published an article today about Google's experiment with The Prado, in Madrid, using the Google Earth application to zoom into 14 of the museum's old master paintings to an amazing degree. Visitors can "crawl across" the surface of the painting and fill their screen with a single brushstroke or fissure. The writer, Richard Jinman talked to me on the phone yesterday to ask for my reaction and some of my responses were quoted (or paraphrased) in the article:
It would be unfeasible for museums to put their entire collections online at such high resolution... zooming in that closely gives you information, but doesn't give you the experience the artist intended... [the artist] wouldn't expect you to look deep inside a brushstroke - it's an almost forensic view of an artwork which would primarily interest scientists and restorers.
What I was getting at is that the extreme closeup that Google Earth offers would be interesting to anyone at first, for a few paintings, but the appeal would probably fade quickly. I think for most purposes and viewers, the level of detail offered by, say, Zoomify, would be more than adequate. Does anyone else have an opinion?

11 January 2009

Shameless plug: Marriage celebrant website

Wanda, my nearest and dearest, is a registered civil marriage celebrant. Although I many of her gigs come through word of mouth, having a website seemed like a smart move. So, with a talented designer, Zoë Cooper (who happens to be our daughter), we set about creating one:

It's all standards-compliant of course, so it was a good way to practise – and learn – CSS skills. But its visual elegance is all thanks to Zoë.

Let me know what you think... if you feel like it. :-)