Google to digitize National Museums of Kenya collections

Google to digitize National Museums of Kenya collections

Google plans to digitise collections from the National Museums of Kenya.

They will promote Kenya ’s cultural heritage through telling stories of 28 communities.

“The government’s collaboration with Google has democratised access to Kenya’s rich cultural heritage and enabled more people to discover our culture and human connections in new, exciting and interactive ways. It has also encouraged real-life visits to the country’s museums, monuments and heritage sites,” Dr. Mzalendo Kibunjia, the National Museums of Kenya Director General said on Thursday.

Google and the National Museum will be initiating the project under the theme Utamaduni Wetu: Meet the People of Kenya.

These stories will help show the ethnic diversity within our communities and vibrant cultures.

Google has also announced various products and initiatives including user-generated Street View, Bolo, Gallery Go and Grow with Google.

Digitising these stories will help stimulate engagement with people from different communities, generations and geographies and help preserve and promote Kenya’s culture.

Speaking at the Google for Kenya event held at the Movenpick Hotel, Westlands, Sports CS Amina Mohamed said:

“With digital technologies, there has scarcely been a more efficient way for cultural institutions to produce and preserve cultural goods and for consumers, scarcely a greater abundance and diversity of cultural heritage content and the ease of discovering it.”

The user-generated Street View is expected to economically empower Kenyans by helping businesses get on to Google Maps and attract new customers locally and from around the world.

Street View uses photos uploaded by Kenyans and local guides to create a 3D panorama of a specific place.

Close to 50,000 kms of Street View have been mapped across Kenya, and nearly 36,000 businesses added to Google Maps for the first time.

Another product is Bolo, a speech-based reading app that helps children learn to read in English.

It uses Google’s speech recognition and text-to-speech technology and can be used offline.

The app is to enhance reading skills of children and takes into consideration the pupil ratio in public schools that is 1 to over 50. This product is currently available in India and Nigeria.

Another product that can work offline is the Gallery Go. The app brings many of the best features of Google Photos on device to help a user find, edit and manage photos.