Ukraine’s treasured landmarks are now a click away with Google’s … – Android Police


  • Google’s collaboration with preservationists in Ukraine aims to preserve threatened cultural landmarks by transforming them into immersive 3D art.
  • The project showcases the intersection of technology and geopolitics, with Google taking a stance in support of Ukraine during the conflict.
  • Advanced technology, such as laser scanning and photogrammetry, was used to convert the landmarks into 3D models, which were optimized for a smooth user experience.

Technology is often future-focused, but it can be leveraged to immortalize our past, ensuring that history is not only remembered but also experienced. From ancient artifacts to historical landmarks, the quest to digitally preserve our cultural heritage has been a pursuit shared by tech giants and preservationists alike. Delving into this amalgamation of technology and history, Google’s recent endeavor illuminates the significance of preserving landmarks that have come under threat.

Amidst the turbulence in Ukraine and its aftermath, Google’s Arts & Culture team has once again made headlines with an innovative project. In collaboration with Skeiron, a Lviv-based team of preservationists, Google has embarked on a mission to transform Ukrainian landmarks into immersive 3D art. The Dormition Cathedral in Kharkiv, which faced the threat of destruction during the recent conflict, now stands as a virtual testament to its resilience, along with hundreds of other cultural landmarks.

The intersection of tech and the war in Ukraine isn’t unfamiliar territory for Android Police or its readers. Closer to the onset of the war, Google positioned itself in support of Ukraine, emphasizing its stance by warning publishers against content that either condoned or dismissed the conflict. The tech giant further fortified Ukrainian infrastructure against cyber-attacks, highlighting their allegiance and commitment. Notably, regions in Ukraine under Russian occupation expressed intentions to ban Google, further emphasizing the complex relationship between tech and geopolitics.

The intricate process of converting these monumental structures into 3D models involved advanced laser-scanning technology, photogrammetry, and the formidable challenge of file compression. To ensure smooth user experience, even on devices operating on 3G networks, the models had to be optimized to a maximum size of 10MB, preserving the incredible detail and history encapsulated within them.

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Google Arts & Culture has been in the limelight multiple times this year, from its icon redesigns to its Material You revamp. However, this recent collaboration marks a poignant intersection of its cultural endeavors with real-world events, offering a digital haven for monuments that face potential obliteration.

Igor Vytyaz, a Google software engineer who played an instrumental role in this project, reflected on the emotional resonance of this endeavor. Hailing from Kyiv, the project was close to his heart, evoking memories of his homeland. Vytyaz remarked on the potency of technology in preserving history, imagining a world where landmarks like the Golden Gate of Kyiv, lost to time, could have been digitally immortalized.

In an era where the digital and physical realms continually intertwine, such endeavors underscore the power of technology in safeguarding our collective history. As monuments like the Dormition Cathedral virtually stand tall, they serve as a beacon of hope, resilience, and the indomitable spirit of preservation.

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