Australia on the world stage: bringing our stories and heritage online

The hand-built ‘Prototype No. 1’ that became the model for millions of Holden cars. The interior of ‘G for George’, a Lancaster bomber from World War II.  A preserved specimen of Penicillium notatum from the laboratory of the Australian scientist who proved its efficacy in fighting infection. A small Vietnamese fishing boat which set out to carry refugees 6,000 kilometres to Australia with only a map torn from a schoolbook and a compass to guide them.  And, a portrait of a home-grown rock star, Chrissy Amphlett.  These are just some of the remarkable Australian artefacts that have been added digitally to Google’s Cultural Institute today.

Our art galleries, museums and libraries are ever-evolving collections of art works and artefacts from key moments in Australian and Pacific history, as well as important works from around the world.  But time and distance makes it tough to visit them all, meaning many significant Australian works will be seen only by the people lucky enough to visit.

Now, 2,000 more artworks and artefacts are available online to be viewed by people across Australia and the world. A student in a regional or remote town learning about World War II can see exactly how much space a pilot had inside a bomber as they were on a raid, or imagine what it was like to be a refugee in a tiny boat on a wild ocean.


In addition to working with art galleries and museums to capture imagery of their most precious collections, we used special ‘gigapixel’ cameras to take super high-resolution imagery of artworks like Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri's Warlugulong, giving people an even closer look than if they were standing right in front of it.

We also used our Street View technology to capture 360-degree panoramic imagery to allow online virtual tours of the Australian War Memorial, the National Museum of Australia, Sculpture by the Sea and many others.

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We hope that this program makes our cultural heritage accessible to many more people - both in Australia and around the world - and also helps to preserve it for the enjoyment of future generations.

Posted by Maile Carnegie, Managing Director, Google Australia

New Australian partners joining Google Cultural Institute

Australian War Memorial (including Street View tour)  (link)
National Museum of Australia (including Street View tour)   (link)
National Portrait Gallery (link)
Australian National Maritime Museum (link)
Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House (link)

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (link)
State Library of NSW  (link)
Australian Museum  (link)
Biennale of Sydney (StreetView tour of 19th Biennale, Cockatoo Island 2014 venue) (link)
Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi (Street View tour)  (link)

Queensland Museum (including Street View tour)  (link)
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (link)

Public Record Office Victoria (link)
Australian Centre for the Moving Image (link)

About the Google Cultural Institute
The Google Cultural Institute is dedicated to creating technology that helps cultural organisations bring their collections, archives, heritage sites, and stories online. The aim is to increase the range and volume of material from the cultural world that is available for people to explore online and in doing so, democratize access to it and preserve it for future generations. For more information, visit: