Google Maps has demonstrated that one of the best uses for Street View has been when the feature has in fact gone off the street. The latest unique Street View offering comes by way of a collaborative effort with another Google service, Google Art Project, that has yielded a wildly fascinating Street View-style tour of 51 different museums and art-containing locations throughout the world.
According to the Lat Long Blog,
A wide range of institutions, large and small, traditional art museums as well as less traditional settings for great art, are represented in the expanded Art Project. Click here and take a look at the White House in Washington D.C. Explore the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar. Continue the journey in India, exploring the Santiniketan Triptych in the halls of the National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi.
The images you'll come across in Street View are in a high resolution (some at a stupidly high quality) that contain the 360° panning imagery that most other indoor Street View endeavors have included. Over 30,000 different works of art are featured in Google Maps' venture inside these museums and other cultural centers.
Here's an example of what you'll see if you decide to check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The funny (and surprising) thing about this feature is that you can toggle between the first and second floors anytime, but the map appears to just drop you right through the floor/ceiling to your exact coordinates on either floor, Shadowcat-style. It's been so long since I've been to the Met so I don't really know where I was navigating before I came across this, but here's a display of an insanely ornate piano/organ-looking instrument next to a harp and other antique instruments (I can already hear the internet comments filing their nails and readying to dig into me for misnaming these instruments).
Also, if you're not familiar with what Art Project is working on, check out the introduction video below that came out a few days ago.
You can check out the full gallery of all 51 locations over at the Google Street View Gallery for Art Project.