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Google Makes Borobudur Temple Browsable Online

Adjie Priambada - 28 September 2015

Right on the last Tourism Day (September 27), Google Indonesia announced that Borobudur Temple, along with 10 temples surround it (Ratu Boko and Prambanan), are accessible through Google Maps Street View. Google also launched Google Cultural Institute for Indonesia as well as Street View image of five main cities in Indonesia, in which Lampung and Lombok are ones of them, on the same day. The launching was backed up by Ministry of Elementary & High School and Culture, as well as Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan and Ratu Boko.

It’s undeniable that the vast growth of technology has changed people’s lifestyle. This innovation by Google is expected to help 70 percent of tourists who start their journey by searching everything on internet.

“Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information, making it an accessible and profitable service for every user who accesses it. By presenting the Street View image of Borobudur Temple and its history at Cultural Institute for the very first time, we aim to contribute to preserve the culture and historyn for the next generation, and inspire more people to visit and appreciate this national treasure of Indonesia,” Shinto Nugroho, Google Indonesia’s Head of Public Policy & Government Relations, stated.

Google Maps Street View and Street View Trekker technology

Interestingly, Google also introduced Google Cultural Institute for Indonesia and the Street View image of four main cities in Indonesia on the same day. The Google Maps Street View tech was first presented in Indonesia back in 2014. Through the tech, Google attempts on presenting 360˚ panoramic view that can be used to explore and navigate a location from the street level. At the moment, the tech has covered historical temples, museum, urban areas, and tourism spots, like beaches and vihara, in Indonesia.

In particular, Google started the Street View Trekker tech for rural areas or locations that are only accessible by walking, such as Borobudur Temple, in 2012. Street View Trekker is a Street View platform which takes form of a backpack with a camera system on top of it. There are 15 lenses on top of a pole inside the bag, which allows 360 degree panoramic view.

Google Cultural Institute and learning from the history of Indonesia

Meanwhile, Google Cultural Institute is part of Google’s World Wonders Project, which partners with 800 cultural institutions in more than 60 countries. This project aims to make pieces of art accessible to anybody, anywhere and at anytime. To date, Google has covered more than 180 thousand art works and 6 million images, videos, manuscripts, and documents of art, culture, and history, all of them can be accessed online.

The presence of Google Cultural Institute in Indonesia allows users to learn more on the history of Borobudur Temple after “walking” around it using Google Maps. Users may also enjoy “Mahakarya Borobudur” and “Kisah Visual Ramayana” through 9 new exibition that presents art, heritage, artifact, and history of Indonesia online.

Google claims that there are around 200 artifacts coming from Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko, as well as Indonesia National Museum that can be enjoyed online via Google Cultural Institute.

The Indonesia National Museum first joined Google Cultural Institute back in 2012. The museum just recently added “Museum View”, indoor Street View tech that enables users to explore their building.

“Borobudur Temple is one of the oldest in the world that it’s even older than Angkor Wat by 300 years. We’s extremely glad that Borobudur and other [ten] temples can be accessed online via Google Cultural Institute, as we are assisted to keep sharing information on historical sites and the heritage of Indonesia,” Lailly Prihatiningtyas, Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan, and Ratu Boko’s President Director, stated.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Elementary & High School and Culture Anies Baswedan and the Ministry of Tourism Arief Yahya, M.Sc. joined the ranks in voicing their appreciation for this initiative by Google. The initiative is believed to facilitate tourists, both local and international, who want to find the best tourism spots in Indonesia, not to mention the learning function that it offers.

The other ten temples which are presented at Google Cultural Institute are Barong, Ijo, Kalasan, Mendut, Pawon, Prambanan, Kraton Ratu Boko, Sambi Sari, Sari, and Sewu. Meanwhile, the aforementioned five new cities are Madura, Lombok, Lampung, Palembang, and Bali.


Translated by Rifki Aria Nugraha

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