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Asia Art Museum on Google Art Project: A Web Log Analysis of the National Palace Museum’s Participation

S. Wu, Asia Art Museum on Google Art Project: A Web Log Analysis of the National Palace Museum’s Participation. In Museums and the Web 2013, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. Published October 4, 2013. http://mwa2013.museumsandtheweb.com/paper/asia-art-museum-on-google-art-project-a-web-log-analysis-of-the-national-palace-museums-participation-in-the-google-art-project/

p.1: In February 2011, Google launched the art museum oriented Google Art Project (GAP), which immediately triggered deep discussions and drew wide attention. It also expanded Google’s business from the text-centric Google Book Search and Google Scholar platforms to the brand new arena of museums. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: GAP was exactly the product of a new project created by a group of art-loving Google employees who used 20% of their weekly work hours to apply the technologies of Picasa, Street View, Youtube and Google Maps to let museums all over the world cross geographical boundaries and time restrictions to display their art collections to the world through online queries anytime and anywhere (Mediati, 2011). -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.2: Over the past two years of constant growth, the number of museums participating in GAP exceeded 260 in 2013 and the number of images of museum collections has reached over 46,559. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.3: GAP also has strengths: take fine art courses for instance. GAP’s ultra-high resolution images – Gigapixel images – allow visitors to observe every delicate touch of the art work’s and canvas texture in full detail. Teachers can use the interactive whiteboard to link to GAP for lectures. Such great facilities substantially help fine art education (Grasso, 2011; Smith, 2011; Allan, 2012). Moreover, GAP content can be used as reference data complementary to traditional art databases such as ARTstor and Williams Visual Resources (TechFest, 2011; Berwick, 2011). -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.4: In addition, the virtual experience of viewing of art works online versus the physical experience of visiting the actual museum should not be understood as standing in opposition to each another; in fact, in the world of the new generation, maybe these two experiences are complementary and reinforce one another (Grasso, 2011). -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.4: Many critics point out that GAP can be restricted by copyright issues, thus many 20th century modern art works and contemporary art works are absent from GAP, and post-war and abstract expressionist art works are also inadequately represented (Proctor, 2011; Smith, 2012; Gordon, 2013). Such a shortage could mislead Internet users in their understanding of art history. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.4: in the eyes of some art lovers and museum-goers, the art appreciation experience of physical museums is never replaceable with modern alternatives like GAP; to them GAP only offers a kind of mechanical aesthetics, without the feelings or the thrill that happens only when you stand right in front of the actual art work (Ballard, 2012; Grasso, 2011). -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.4: Although GAP has successfully gathered huge image collections from many large museums and established the mechanisms for viewing, query and retrieval of them, some users point out that GAP actually does not have any curatorial direction (TechFest, 2011). -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.7: A further analysis of the cities of the visitors shows that the City of Taipei sends the largest portion of the visitors or 6.2%, followed by the 4.2% from London, 3.1% form Portland, Oregon, and 2.7% from Beijing. Notably, the American city of Portland unexpectedly has a much higher visitor volume to the Museum’s GAP content than the major U.S. cities of New York and Los Angeles, and this is something that really deserves further exploration. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014

p.13: From observation of the visitors’ behavior, analysis was done of visitors’ backgrounds, languages and browsing tendencies; it was discovered that cultural background is still the dominant factor in whether or not users visit NPM pages on GAP. Moreover, the study also found that visit volume on mobile devices is relatively low, and artifact popularity was key to visitors’ browsing habits. Improved results can be made by integrating with educational resources online. -- Highlighted mar 16, 2014