Friday, April 25, 2008

How Does Google Book Search Get All Those Old Books Digitized Into Their System?

Well even when it comes to the world's #1 Brand and possibly the most amazing and most advanced technological company, Google does some manual labor. Apparently the digital versions of some of the oldest most fragile books are digitally scanned - 600 pages a day and loaded up to Google Book Search. These books are scanned as two overhead cameras photograph the pages, but that means someone has to turn page after page and click. After which each digitized book goes through optical character recognition processing, which makes the text searchable.

Google, the Internet's leader in search and advertising, says the process it developed and is using for scanning the majority of the books in Book Search is proprietary.

Through Book Search, users can track down a book on any topic they're interested in and read a small portion. If the book's not protected by copyright, users can download the whole thing. If it is, or if they just want to read an original, they can use Book Search to find copies to buy or borrow.

Book Search has the support of many publishers, authors and librarians, including Cambridge University Press and Wisdom Publications. But some publishers and authors have sued, claiming the service violates their copyrights. Google says Book Search is aboveboard because Web surfers can retrieve only snippets of copyright material through the service.

Details care of AP

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