Google's Cultural Institute website is a sprawling and eclectic digital museum, and today it's adding a wealth of street art to its collection from locations across the globe. Google says that it has around 100 street art exhibitions with more than 5,000 images between them. As usual, Google didn't create the exhibitions itself, but instead partnered with knowledgeable institutions like museums to put them together.

Keeping vanishing art around

One of the highlights of the new collection is a close look at 5Pointz, a New York factory famously coated in graffiti until it was painted over late last year. That speaks to part of Google's broader goal with the street art gallery: preserving art that's likely to vanish. Google's already been helping to preserve the face of every street with Street View and a new Google Maps feature that lets visitors view scenery up to nearly a decade old, though it tells The New York Times that this imagery won't be used for the new collection.

Street View's technology has made it into the collection, however, and reportedly can be utilized at the request of Google's partner institutions. One brought the camera system inside of France's Tour Paris 13 before it was demolished, now allowing anyone who wants to see the building to wander through each of its rooms and floors, which are still covered in graffiti at the time of the photographs.