Loading
Google maps launch virtual tour of Roman catacombs
Tombs line the walls of the Catacomb of Pricilla beneath Rome, Nov. 20, 2012. Credit: Andreas Dueren/CNA.
Tombs line the walls of the Catacomb of Pricilla beneath Rome, Nov. 20, 2012. Credit: Andreas Dueren/CNA.

.- The internet's largest search engine has created a digital map of two large catacombs in Rome, hoping to expose users to the historical sites' beauty and spark curiosity to learn more about them.

“If you can find catacombs, if you can find frescos, if you can find museums online, then you will be willing to know more,” Georgia Albetino told CNA during a Nov. 19 interview.

“So our objective is actually to have more and more people knowing about world-wide culture, and for us Italian culture.”

Albetino is the head of Google's public policy team in Italy, and was present for the Nov. 19 press conference announcing the new project, held in the Catacomb of Pricilla.

The Catacomb of Pricilla was used for Christian burials from late in the second century up through the fourth, and is filled with numerous wall paintings of Saints and Christian symbols, some of which are currently undergoing restoration.

It is believed that the catacomb is named after a woman called Pricilla, who is believed to be the wife of a man who converted to Christianity and was put to death by the Emperor Domitian.

Inspiration for the new map system detailing the catabombs, Albetino noted, came from “a big idea that google has, that is try to put in the web as much cultural contents as possible.”

Catacombs originally came up as a topic of interest, the policy director revealed, during a meeting between Cardinal Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt.

During the discussion of “how to enrich the world-wide web,” Albetino noted that “the idea was, ok, there are incredibly valuable contents, such as for instance, the catacombs, why don’t we put it on maps? And that’s how it started.”

So far the Catacombs of Pricilla and the Dino Companion catacombs are the only two available on Google maps, and although there are “no clear plans in terms of catacombs in the future,” Albetino explained that they are important, especially in Italian culture, because they “tell you something about our history, and also where we come from.”

Fabricio Bisconti, the Archeological Superintendent of the Catacombs for the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archeology, also spoke with CNA on Nov. 19, stating that another key motive in creating the map was to give “virtual tour for the disabled.”

Those who “cannot access” the catacombs due to some “great handicap,” he observed, ought to have the ability to be exposed to their beauty as well, adding that “this was our first motive.”

Albetino revealed that another “fantastic project” that Google is working on in the area of Italy, is “to digitize all the books of the three main libraries, Naples, Rome and Florence, and to make it available to the world-wide web, and then also to digitize the biggest museums with the same purpose.”

The goal of all these projects, she noted, is to “show to the world the beauties that we have.”

The new map of the catacombs can be viewed here.

Tags: Historical Sites, Early Christianity


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?
First meeting of Commission for Protection of Minors
Jul
23

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Gospel
Date
07/23/14
07/20/14
07/19/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »

Saint
Date
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9

Homily
Date
07/23/14
07/21/14
07/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: