Tech Talk

Tech Talk: 3.7.18

exploring art and culture 
I find myself heading out to explore the wonderful cultural institutions in the area. Visiting an art museum in the dead of winter puts me in a happy place. I only wish I had more time to travel and explore more collections around the world. Imagine my joy when I came across Google’s Art and Culture site and app, which lets you view incredible artwork from across the globe while sipping a glass of wine in the comfort of your own home.

>> The Google Cultural Institute created this resource with an initial focus on making it easy to study collections in depth. They curated events by combining documents, pictures and video to make an immersive experience. When you’re in a virtual museum, you can look at images based on popularity, time and color. Using the same technology that Google Maps uses for Street Views, you can ‘walk’ through The Museum of Modern Art in New York or experience the Taj Mahal without the long flight! And it offers institutions multiple resources and tools, too.

>> One of the more fascinating sections is the Arts and Culture Experiments, where artists and coders share their creations. Free Fall is one of my favorites.

>> Educators can use the Expeditions AR Pioneer Program with virtual reality viewers so students can take a field trip anytime. It expands their learning in the classroom beyond just reading about it; they can see it up close and (almost) personal.

>> If you are on social media, you might have seen the mobile app that lets you compare your selfies to fine art ( arts/selfie). After you upload your selfie, it finds matches to museum portraits using facial recognition technology. My portrait was a 51 percent match with Henry Raeburn’s Mrs. Macdowall at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. I can’t wait to see the exhibit in person to decide if the technology was spot-on or not! If you haven’t done it yet, give it a try. You just might find a new favorite painting. I hope you enjoy discovering these new cultural experiences as much as I did. Send me your favorite app or site that allows you to explore the world in new ways.

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Sheila Burkett is an information technology expert and CEO of Spry Digital, an interactive design agency delivering smart digital solutions. Follow Spry Digital on Twitter (@sprydigital), Facebook (, Instagram (@sprydigital) or LinkedIn (