LIFE, Google create online photo archive

November 19, 2008 5:24:06 PM PST
LIFE Magazine has an archive of more than 10,000,000 photographs and only a fraction of them have ever been published. But, that's about to change thanks to a partnership with Google.

Now those iconic images from the magazine, and the millions of other pictures will be saved in an online library.

LIFE Magazine's images of historical events defined our lives. For decades the magazine gave us our history through pictures. But, most of the pictures taken by LIFE Magazine photographers have never been seen? until now.

"Today we are bringing them out for people to see, many of them for the first time, such as great candid photos from Marilyn Monroe when she a young teenager practicing in a ballet studio," SAOD Google's Director of Product Management R.J. Pittman.

Two years ago, LIFE Magazine approached Google to help with the distribution.

Pittman says, "These photos exists in an archive, in a vault like in a basement that you may find in an old house and they are sitting among stacks of negatives, actual prints."

After they are all scanned, Google will make them high-quality, high-resolution online photos, and place them online at Images.google.com.

Google has managed to put about 30 percent of these pictures online. It will take them about another two years to put the entire LIFE archive collection on the Web. It includes more than 10,000,000 photos.

"That could take up anywhere from a couple of megabytes, to maybe four megabytes per image. If you multiple that by millions of images you are talking about terabytes of storage which in Google's world is actually not that much.

People can also buy these pictures framed for $80 each.

In 1975 photographer Gary Fong's managed to take a photo in San Francisco of the assassination attempt on Gerald Ford. His pictures was featured in LIFE Magazine.

"A lot of people just see the image and miss it. But when they see it in print, or see it on the wall, or see it in a magazine or newspaper, something like that, it's becomes part of history," he said.

Fong captured a moment in history that today is just a click away.

Read more about the project at the Official Google Blog.

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