The Academy of Natural Sciences' aoudad, or Barbary sheep, diorama, depicting the species native to North Africa. This is one example of material now available online through the Google Cultural Institute. Photo by Mike Servedio/Academy of Natural Sciences.
A new online experience by Google, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, and some of the most loved natural history institutions in the world allows people to come face to face with Jurassic giants and browse through the most spectacular collection of natural history available in one place.
Opened this week, a new online exhibition available on g.co/naturalhistory will enable web users to discover natural history treasures such as the Academy of Natural Sciences’ iconic dinosaurs, gorgeous seashells and rare illustrations that document the diversity and fragility of nature.
The Google Cultural Institute uses state-of-the-art technology to give a new virtual life to extinct animals and to tell fascinating stories about our planet’s evolution over billions of years. Panoramic Street View imagery gives people a backstage pass to wander virtually around iconic venues such as London’s Natural History Museum. They will be also able to browse over 100 fascinating stories related to dinosaurs and the world's most known fossils, but also learn about plants, insects, and minerals on g.co/naturalhistory.
Three exhibitions by the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, the oldest natural history museum in the Americas, take viewers behind the scenes to examine selections from its famed research collection of 18 million plants and animals. There are seashells in amazing shapes and colors, microscopic diatoms with geometric patterns laid bare, and an engaging story about the rigors of discovering new species of fish.
In another exhibition, beautiful photographs from the Academy’s VIREO collection illustrate the sometimes bizarre mating rituals of birds. Rare illustrations from the Academy’s world-renowned library and archives document the artistry and science of documenting species over centuries. A sixth exhibit leads visitors on a virtual tour of the museum, showcasing the Academy as the first place in the world to display a full dinosaur skeleton.
Academy President and CEO George W. Gephart, Jr. said the Google Cultural Institute’s innovative technology offers a new way to reach and motivate viewers around the world.
“We hope that viewers browsing the Academy’s amazing treasures online, seeing nature’s outrageous beauty and diversity, will encourage people to be better stewards of the environment and protectors of the planet,” Gephart said. “We hope some folks will come to the museum and see our treasures in person.”
The new online exhibition at g.co/naturalhistory is free and open for all online and through the new Google Arts & Culture mobile app on iOS and Android. The 360 degree videos are available on YouTube.
For this exhibition, natural history institutions from 15 countries created more than 100 interactive stories, sharing a total of 300,000 photos, videos and other documents online in collaboration with Google. The latest innovations in tech help bring the magic of these legendary venues to life, and give everyone a chance to reconnect with our evolution story and our planet environment in all its richness.
About the Google Cultural Institute
The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1,000 institutions from 70 countries, giving a platform to over 200,000 artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history.
About the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University
Founded in 1812, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University is a leading natural history museum dedicated to advancing research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science. The Academy is the place for young and old to experience natural science in a fun and engaging way. Visitors can stroll through a tropical butterfly garden, touch live animals, get face-to-face with a towering T. rex, dig for fossils, and meet scientists.