Google Blogoscoped

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Google Books Mobile and More

Google announced they launched a mobile version of Google Book Search. You can test it on your desktop browser, too. According to Google, over 1.5 million public domain books are included in the app.

Google’s OCR (optical character recognition) remains to be further optimized. Here’s an example from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice:

I know not why I am fo fad:
Tt wearies me; you fay, it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What fluff ’cis made born,
Of, whereof it is
I am to learn
And fuch a want-wit fadnefs makes of me.
That I have much ado to know myfelf.

In other recent news, Google changed their guidelines for how they expect you to handle the PDF downloads of the public domain books they host. A part of the old guideline used to read “Use the files for non-commercial purposes only”. Instead, Google now says “Don’t engage in large scale redistribution or rehosting of the files” and “Don’t sell digital or physical copies, or help other people buy and sell them.” As the public domain allows commercial redistribution though, I previously copied several of the PDFs to A much larger redistribution is available on

[Thanks Hebbet via Google, and Yakov!]


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