June 18, 2009

New Tricks @ Google Books: Taking Cut&Paste to New Levels


One of the often overlooked transformative projects at Google is "Google Books." Over the past years, with ever-increasing momentum, books new and old have been digitized by Google and made searchable.

Today, the team at Google Books unveiled a number of new enhancements to this service: [Inside Google Book Search: New Features on Google Books] Chief among them is an ability to embed text selections or whole books within other pages with the same level of simplicity as the embedding of a YouTube video.

Here's a sample from Democracy in America - Google Books

Clicking on the selection above takes you to the full text of the book @ Google Books at the point where the clip was made making the context of the quote accessible.

This feature has obvious uses for bloggers, writers, and publishers. It also means that the irritating habit among bloggers of cutting and pasting much more text than they need to to make their point will be abused even more. But that's a small price to pay for making the ever-expanding Library of Googleandria available to the world at large.

And, of course, you can also embed pictures, graphs, or diagrams also found in books. You can also elect to embed a mini-browser to enable the reader to search and read the entire book without leaving the page they are on:

To see what other features are available, and they are all highly useful, click over to Inside Google Book Search: New Features on Google Books.

How will these new enhancements be used? For good and for evil. To entertain and to bore. To accentuate the marvelous and promote the banal. As we used to say in the stone age of the Internet, "Tools not rules" and "What it is... is up to you."

Posted by Vanderleun at June 18, 2009 12:30 PM
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