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Google’s Goal: A Worldwide Web of Books May 30, 2006

Posted by cbeech in News - Google, News - Tech.

It’s odd to hear Vinton Cerf, regarded as one of the founding fathers of the Internet, to gush over ink-on-paper books.

The electronic pioneer and computer scientist, who now works as Google’s chief Internet evangelist, is also a bibliophile who has a collection of about 10,000 hard-copy volumes lining shelves at his home in McLean.

Google has vowed to create a full-text index of seven-million books in the University of Michigan library, along with millions more in the university libraries at Harvard, Stanford and Oxford, as well as the New York Public Library. The idea is similar to Amazon.com‘s “search inside the book” feature, eventually allowing anyone using Google’s free book search ( http://books.google.com/ ) not only to see sample pages from books but also search their contents and find excerpts matching search terms.

Google is not alone in trying to digitize library books. Yahoo, Microsoft and other Internet players have joined a collaborative effort called the Open Content Alliance, which is planning to digitize not only library books but other types of multimedia, as well, making them all accessible on the Web.




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