Google Trekker documents Australian War Memorial in cultural project

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Google Trekker Operator Richard Elwasfi, and Google Australia Spokesman Johnny Luu Photo: Jamila Toderas Google Trekker Operator Richard Elwasfi, and Google Australia Spokesman Johnny Luu Photo: Jamila Toderas
Nanjing Night Net

Google Trekker Operator Richard Elwasfi, and Google Australia Spokesman Johnny Luu Photo: Jamila Toderas

Google Trekker Operator Richard Elwasfi, and Google Australia Spokesman Johnny Luu Photo: Jamila Toderas

Every child, young and old, who has ever stared at the Australian War Memorial’s G For George Lancaster bomber and wanted to look inside can now live the dream.

A 360-degree view of the interior of the historic plane, shot from just behind the pilot’s seat by Google Street View Trekker photographer, Richard Elwasfi, went live on the search engine’s website on Tuesday morning.

Mr Elwasfi said the interior of the Lancaster was so cramped he could not fit the 1.2m tall Trekker unit – a photographic kit worn as a backpack – into the cabin with him.

“You get a real feeling for what people went through,” he said. “It’s hard to believe they had a crew of seven people. I can’t imagine what it would have been like in there for hours at a time and with people shooting at you.”

Mr Elwasfi, who has become accustomed to going places with an 18kg miniature Dalek strapped to his back over the last two years, is the face behind remarkable imagery from a range of Australian cultural institutions including the Australian War Memorial and the National Museum of Australia that went online on Tuesday.

The Google Trekker has 15 cameras covering a panoramic 360 degree view and shoots synchronised images every three seconds.

Imagery is stored on a disc which is then uploaded at Google and woven together to create a virtual reality-like experience that takes in everything that was in range of the cameras.

The cultural institute link, which provides instant access to hundreds of museums, galleries and other facilities around the globe, has been praised by teachers world wide.

“It doesn’t matter where you are,” Google’s Johnny Luu, said. “If a class has access to computers or notepads and a Internet link then they can go on a virtual tour.”

In addition to a virtual tour which covers 7000 square metres of galleries, the National Museum of Australia has virtual exhibitions on the Google Museum View website.

Mr Elwasfi said his work for Google had taken him to some truly remarkable places including the centre of the pitch at the MCG.

Images from the National Portrait Gallery and Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House also feature on the Google site.

They are among 14 Australian museums and cultural organisations jumping on board the cultural project.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.