Monday, December 16, 2013

Google Open Gallery

Google just announced a tool called Google Open Gallery to help artists showcase their work in online virtual exhibitions. 

To set up an exhibition, you upload high res images and explanatory captions. The interface allows viewers a variety of ways to look at your artwork, including scalable views and a clever compare-and-contrast feature.

Viewers can sort the work by medium, person, place, date, or other parameters. All the exhibitions seem to fit within a standardized graphic design format. 

The promo video suggests that the tool might be used not only by artists and photographers, but also by museum directors and collectors who want to share their holdings. Whether hackers can delve into the code to extract the high res files is a question that I would wonder about. 

Here's the Google Open Gallery website, and an article in the LA Times about it. Right now the ability to set up a virtual gallery requires an invitation, which you can sign up for.

Thanks, Bryn


Eugene Arenhaus said...

Google seems to be everywhere these days, trying to get people to give them more exploitable content. Seems that they are after high-resolution images, this time.

This new site doesn't even have clear terms of service, the only legal links on it are the general sweeping Google's TOS and such.

Unknown said...

Yup, you can get in and save the high resolution images.

You don't have to be a super hacker to get to them either, I was able to within my browser by inspecting the page.

As with anything on the internet it's a risk vs. reward environment.

sfox said...

I think I'll pass based on what Eugene and Kenneth have said. I only post 500-600 pixel images, realizing that a determined Photoshop user could add missing data to enlarge the image. But I've decided that is a risk I will take. Giving, and it is "giving" Google hi-res images does not seem wise to me, no with the TOS they have.

Kate said...

My way of getting around the hi res vs. letting people see good images problem is to have a magnifying glass on a lo res. Yes, you can hack it to get the hi res but it's not very easy, and Oh Well. I have to have an online presence. And I want to show people the detail which is my trademark.

Russell Dickerson said...

It's unfortunately not very difficult at all to get the full images. Even just using Google Chrome's built-in Inspect Element feature, it's pretty easy. I use that feature all the time working as a web designer, and it has a feature to list all page resources (including images).

Still, I do like the idea of the online collection, and with Google's broad search base I would imagine that would help someone get their art seen a bit easier. As long as their ease of download question is attended to, and the TOS are good, I'd be willing to try it.

Working just a few blocks from downtown Fort Collins, Colorado, it's nice to see a collection of old photos as well.

nika said...

Watermark is your friend people

Kyle said...

watermarks are both good and bad. I kinda felt like this gallery idea was to show off work for like an event or something. In those cases, watermarks are super hideous and annoying.

my opinion of course :)

Anonymous said...

I have heard that even digital watermarks can be erased.

David Teter said...

Yes, watermarks can be removed.
There is no perfect solution. Hackers always look to exploit through new technology unfortunately.

As Kenneth said "As with anything on the internet it's a risk vs. reward environment."

Then there is James Gurney's recent post from TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013
CBS report on cheap counterfeit paintings from China

So if you are Clinton Hobart (and maybe any of us) the risk is great.
See his comment from that post.

greenishthing said...

what are the terms of service? do our pix belong to them once we put them there?

Salty Pumpkin Studio said...

If the artwork appears on a computer screen, then anyone with a digital camera can take a photograph. People out to steal artwork to copy and sell aren't going to be stopped by codes that lock an image from being copied online.

Google as Google goes means to me they will have all that artwork free to use as they please on Google much like copying on the books in print on Google.

I appreciate Google's free Blogger. I would and may pay for extra space someday. However, if Google wants to be buddies with my artwork in a virtual gallery, then Google will have to pay me.

Emanuele Sangregorio said...

I don't know if this is the best place where to put it but i wanted to share my discovery. talking about online galleries,
the british library released an enormous amount of scanned ex libris and I'm already loving it!