Brain Pickings

Google Groupies Galore: Goollery

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What album covers have to do with shoe shopping and Renaissance paintings.

The open-source movement is among the great cultural feats of our time. And the move towards open API’s, inviting derivative, often collaborative work, is a major force driving this new paradigm. Google was arguably the pioneer there, releasing the Google Maps API in June 2005, and following up with API’s for many of their other products. More recently, the Android API has generated a number of fascinating independent developments in today’s white-hot area of augmented reality. So: How does one keep up with all the API wonderfulness out there?

Enter Goollery, a comprehensive gallery of Google-related projects from around the world.

Inviting you to browse by Google product or project date, the collection features such gems as a map of where iconic album covers were shot, to an artist who paints scenes and locations he has only experienced via Street View, to Layar, the new critically-acclaimed augmented reality browser for Android.

Among our favorites is the Tate’s mashup, which lets you explore locations depicted in artwork from the National Collection of British Art using Street View. Looking at place from a Renaissance painting and seeing it today somehow captures our cultural evolution on a multitude of levels, from the aesthetic to the social to the environmental.

Explore Goollery for more fascinating celebrations of voyeurism and the freedom to roam around in other people’s data.

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