The Google Art Project website uses the same familiar user interface as Google's popular Street View and is the second attempt, after Boutiques.com to cover its cutting edge technology with a layer of glossy Apple-esque eye candy.
The site brings together 17 art museums from around the world including the National Gallery and Tate London but doesn't include many French museums like Musee D'orsay or Le Louvre presumably because of copyright issues.
Google Art Project allows you to either browse the paintings one at a time or to navigate freely any chosen museum like in Streetview.
However, you cannot search across the museums for a particular painting for example (using keywords). Likewise, there's no categorisation, either by period or by painter, given that several museums may own paintings from the same artist.
As for the stunning gigapixel photo capturing technology which generates seven billion pixels per picture, it is not unfortunately not accessible on the Street View version.
Those choosing to sign in can also create their own collections - out of the 1000 or so works of art - which can be shared between with friends and families.
It will be interesting to see whether Google will use the Street View approach for other things as well like time specific events.