Google has teamed up with the Eiffel Tower Operating Company to create a trio of online exhibitions for the Google Cultural Institute, to let Internet users explore the Eiffel Tower in new ways without having to go to Paris.
Google’s Street View team went up the tower using the Street View Trolley, and shot 360-degree views of the tower’s architecture and its views over the city.
The trolley was made for Google’s Street View cameras to easily fit through museum doorways and navigate around sculptures. It’s basically a camera on a push-cart.
“These modern-day Street View panoramas sit alongside nearly 50 archival images, plans, engravings and photos telling the story of the Eiffel Tower’s development and social impact in the 19th century,” says Mark Yoshitake, Head of Product & User Experience at the Google Cultural Institute. “Some of the archive material is quite rare and precious such as a recording of Gustave Eiffel’s voice by Thomas Edison.”
“The first exhibition presents the birth of the Eiffel Tower from the initial idea until its realization,” explains Yoshitake. “You can then follow the construction of the monument step-by-step through photos and sketches. Details on the inauguration and the first visitors lie in the third exhibition, with photos of people admiring the Paris vista on the opening day leading into today’s Street View imagery from the top floor. Did you know that during the Tower’s inauguration for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, the elevators were not yet in service but 12,000 people per day rushed to climb the 1710 steps leading to the top?”
While it didn’t make its way into Google Cultural Institute exhibitions, Google also recently captured Street View imagery at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world (in Dubai). For that, Google used the Trekker camera device.