Shenandoah National Park announces partnership with Google

Skyline Drive, part of the Shenandoah National Park, is closed during the government shutdown. (FILE/WTOP/Hank Silverberg)

WASHINGTON — In a partnership between the National Park Service and Google, Shenandoah National Park will be featured in the Google Cultural Institute, a digital platform that makes hundreds of significant objects in the NPS museum collection available online.

It uses technologies similar to Google’s Street View, providing 360-degree views on Google maps of locations around the world, to photograph and virtually map important artifacts, photos, records and works of art to share important material with global audiences.

The NPS is home to one of the world’s largest museum systems. Over 380 park museums, 45 million objects and 76,000 linear feet of archives help tell powerful stories of America’s land, people and significant events and ideas that continue to inspire the world.

Visitors to the National Park Service “channel” will be able to view more than 3,800 works of art, artifacts and records, as well as a Centennial Virtual Exhibit, which features a significant museum object from over 350 national park sites.

Shenandoah National Park will have a historic photo of Mary’s Rock Tunnel Overlook, from its museum collection, featured as part of the partnership with the Google Cultural Institute.

Users can also build their own collections to share or take virtual, panoramic tours of homes of eminent Americans.

“The magic of technology is that it allows us to fold space and time to bring people together with places, experiences, artifacts, and each other in ways that before were impossible,” said Malika Saada Saar, Google’s Senior Counsel on Civil and Human Rights.

The historic photo from Shenandoah National Park is found on the Google Cultural Institute website in the National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit in the Collections from Virginia National Parks. It’s a photo taken in 1938, featuring the park’s iconic Skyline Drive, Mary’s Rock Tunnel (an engineering feat at the time), the Mary’s Rock Tunnel Overlook, the rock guardwall (built by the Civilian Conservation Corps) and a beautiful view of the mountains in the distance.

Go here for more information on the NPS’s Centennial effort.

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