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Google used photogrammetry to create a detailed VR tour of Versailles

It's the largest photogrammetry capture ever done on the site.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
September 30, 2019
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Versailles palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world, but fighting those crowds in person can be frustrating. Now, Google and the Château de Versailles have teamed up to take VR users on a private tour of Louis XIV's royal residence. It's the largest photogrammetry project ever done at the castle, with 21 rooms and 387,500 square feet of internal surfaces captured. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift users can handle and inspect over 100 sculptures, paintings and other works of art and see them with incredible close-up detail.

Google collected over 4TB of data and textured 15 billion pixels, it said. The app will give you a tour the King and Queen's State Apartments, the Royal Opera House, Royal Chapel and Hall of Mirrors, just to name a few of the iconic rooms. "Tapestries, paintings, ceilings, sculptures and furniture, everything is within reach of your controller to grant you unlimited and privileged access to the treasures of Versailles," reads the description on Steam. "For a more intimate experience, switch to night mode and explore the Palace by the light of chimney fires."

If you don't own a Vive or Rift headset (it's only available on those two platforms for now), Google has also unveiled an online exhibition featuring over 390 assets, including objects, artifacts and paintings. You can go on a private tour of six of the Palace's most famous rooms, with accompanying audio from historical experts. The exhibition and app are now available from Google at its Arts & Culture site.

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