Ireland showcased on Google World Wonders Project

31 May 2012

Street View visits landmark buildings to capture some of the world’s most culturally significant sites, including two Irish places of worship.

Ireland’s St Brendan’s Cathedral in Clonfert, Co Galway, and the Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church in Belfast have been selected alongside some of the world’s most famous heritage sites to feature on Google’s new cultural platform, the World Wonders Project, launched today.

Powered by Google Street View, the World Wonders Project gives users the chance to discover and explore 132 diverse historic sites from 18 countries worldwide, including Stonehenge, the archaeological areas of Pompeii, and the ancient Kyoto temples.

Featuring information and photographs supplied by the project partners (UNESCO, the World Monuments Fund, Getty Images and Ourplace), the aim of this project is to preserve world heritage sites using technology and information.

Panoramic street-level images of the Clonfert Cathedral – one of the oldest continually operating churches in Ireland – and the towering spire of Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church mark Ireland’s contribution to the digital world of wonder.

Clonfert Cathedral

The work of the Google Cultural Institute

The World Wonders Project marks just one of the ways Google intends to preserve culture online through the Google Cultural Institute. Other projects under way include the publication of high-resolution images of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the digitisation of the archives of famous figures, and the presentation of thousands of works through the Art Project.

“Google is committed to preserving and promoting all types of culture online,” said Steve Crossan of the Google Cultural Institute. “The World Wonders Project brings to life many of the most significant historic sites on earth, making them accessible to an unprecedented global audience.”

An accompanying YouTube channel brings the sites to life, and the site’s education section provides downloadable teaching guides for both primary and secondary school students.

The project can also promote awareness, as many people don’t realise that these famed sites often have urgent conservation needs.


Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.