Who: Baidu’s Baike is a web-based encyclopedia owned and produced by the leading Chinese-language Internet search engine, Baidu.
What: Their non-profit digital museum project seeks to join forces with cultural institutions worldwide to create digital museums using AI, VR, videos and 360-degree photos.
Why: The goal is to allow users — who cannot travel to a particular location — to appreciate foreign exhibitions and to acquire knowledge at their fingertips.
Efforts (At Home): Since starting out in 2012, the digital museum platform has produced virtual tours of more than 220 Chinese museums, including Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, where the infamous Terracotta Army can be found. They also provide visual records of collections from nearly 2,000 museums across China.
Efforts (Abroad): At the end of 2017, they launched the world’s first digital museum dedicated to Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí’s life story and works, including the famed Sagrada Família. Then in 2018, Baidu announced the production of a digital museum of Camino de Santiago, a large network of ancient pilgrim routes in northwestern Spain; and recently, they released panoramic vistas of the blazing Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris viewable with VR goggles via Baidu’s Baike Museums mini program on WeChat.
Up Next: With over 1,600 international museum partners, the project just welcomed Mexico, Austria and Germany to the growing list of up-and-coming “virtual tourist sites.”