The National Museum of Science and Technology of Catalonia (mNACTEC) has collaborated with Google on the international project Catalan Museums in Google Art Project, a Department of Culture initiative to showcase and promote internationally the heritage preserved at the museums of Catalonia. Through the project, 12 Catalan museums have signed up to the platform, promoting access to art via Google.
The mNACTEC is presenting its heritage collection within the international project by means of the publication of three exhibitions, 200 objects from its collections and a virtual tour around the inside of the Museum. All content is available in three languages: Catalan, Spanish and English.
mNACTEC's contribution to the platform is one of the most significant in Catalonia in terms of the number of exhibits accessible, and is the result of more than a year of joint work by the Conservation Department and Google technicians.
mNACTEC collections in Google Art Project
As a result of this joint initiative, images of nearly 200 items from the collections of the mNACTEC have been published on the Google Art Project platform. Of these, 13 images can be enjoyed in gigaphoto format (very high resolution photography). These spectacular images were captured by the Google team on the premises of the mNACTEC using the only camera of its kind in the world, the Google Art Camera, which uses a laser and sonar system to achieve high-precision focusing.
The mNACTEC gigaphotos in the Google Art Project include, among others, images of a Telesincro ferrite core memory card (1960), a section of undersea electric cable (1940) and a stone disc (1930). The images obtained serve to reveal unsuspected and spectacular details of each of the items subjected to the process.
The mNACTEC has also included three virtual exhibitions within the platform: “Viva Montesa”, a selection of exhibits from the most complete Montesa motorcycle collection in the world; “Daguerreotypes of the mNACTEC”, a journey back to the earliest days of photography courtesy of one of the most significant daguerreotype collections in Spain, and “Fons Catalana de Gas y Electricidad (1913-1929)”, a graphical account of the construction of the first hydroelectric power plants in the River Esera valley.
Lastly, this collaboration project with the Californian firm included the use of trekker technology to create a virtual tour around the inside of the Museum with the GoogleMaps StreetView system, allowing users to take a virtual tour of the exhibitions and items on display at the mNACTEC, whether from a computer or in virtual reality format, using a smartphone and the Google Cardboard.
The result of all this work can be accessed via the mNACTEC section of the Google Art Project platform:
The project forms a part of the new strategic approach of the mNACTEC, with the aim of incorporating the latest technology within its discourse so as to refresh traditional museum idioms and open up possibilities to showcase and disseminate the scientific, technical and industrial heritage of Catalonia.