Friday: 17.December.2004

Google Print

The boys at Google have undertaken a massive project (called Google Print) to scan the books from five libraries (Harvard, Stanford, University of Michigan, Oxford & the New York Public Library) and put them on the Internet.

continued

Google, which is already the world's most popular search engine, will be the only engine hosting these books, extending their competitive edge even further. The ambitious project will take 6-10 years to complete, and involve some 15 million books at a cost of US$10 to $20 each. You do the math. It's going to co$t a fortune.

Google supposedly has a proprietary technology to get the job done. The libraries want Google to ensure them their method of scanning won't damage their rare books. I have done a little OCR scanning myself (using Omnipage, which many consider the best). It was a tedious, imperfect process. Not every word converts correctly. I had to proof-read and manually fix the mistakes.

No matter how you look at it, this (book)marks the beginning of a new era in the access to knowledge and information. Instead of having to go to the library, Google is bringing the library to you. And unlike the physical library, the virtual one never closes. What an age in which we live.





Posted by Rad at December 17, 2004 12:10 PM

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