Ever wanted to see the Met’s Impressionist wing without booking a trip to New York? To browse presidential portraits inside the White House? Take in the newest MOMA exhibition from your couch? You can.
While Google Maps may get you to the front door of your destination, its newest feature, “Indoor Maps,” can help you figure out where to go next. Originally a feature exclusive to Android, last week Google expanded Indoor Maps to be available on web browsers, bringing the user inside an assortment of transportation, shopping, and cultural destinations, from airports to malls, casinos to train stations; a full list of locations is available here.
One of the most interesting aspects of these Indoor Maps is the indoor guides of art galleries, which Google has categorized as the Google Art Project, with virtual walkthroughs available for, to name a few, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Frick Collection, MOMA, the Chicago Art Institute, the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery, and the Cloisters (there are also plenty of international options on the growing list).
Indoor Maps isn’t perfect — so far every museum only offers limited ground level browsing, which often makes navigating around jerky and confusing. However, there’s something about wandering the halls of these eerie and empty digital floor plans that’s weirdly fun. Is this the future of art museums? You be the judge. Click through below for some of our favorite Indoor Maps discoveries, juxtaposed with the actual art pieces.