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Mapping Locations Mentioned in Books  (View post)

Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

Monday, March 12, 2007
17 years ago3,478 views

Nice, but how many books do they have? Is this representative?

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

I sent off an email to Google press, maybe they hand out this number.

I think whether or not it's representative depends on how average their selection of books is, not so much on the quantity of books. What I mean is that if they scan 50 million books from US libraries and only 5 million from partner programs or non-US libraries, then that's a huge number but US libraries might have some skew towards a certain direction (they're not limited to English language books only of course, but there may be a certain focus, cultural background or whatever). On the other hand, if they scan 100,000 books by randomly picking 1 book for every book available on earth, then that's very representative even though it's an absolute lower number.

I wonder if Matthew's maps, if they'd show older data, would resemble Western colonialization up to a point. I don't know if this is true but they say whoever wins a war ends up writing the history book.

michael lommel [PersonRank 0]

17 years ago #

In the top map, that looks like the Trans-Siberian railway that is marked out by book references.

Will we see google book / google earth fly overs? Head down the Trans-Siberian railway and find related books...

Surly Teabag [PersonRank 2]

17 years ago #

I'd like to see the number of books that cite a particular city, normalized to the population of that city. (Just don't ask me about how to deal with changing populations over time... maybe average citations and populations over 50 year chunks.)

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

> Nice, but how many books do they have?

Google's reply:

<<... we haven't announced a specific number, but we've digitized far more than a million books to date>>

Considering that the Bavarian state library on its own promised to add 1 million new books to Google's scanner, that sounds like a big understatement (sort of like Google's "10,000 servers" statement, which AFAIK is the last totally official number they handed out, before they stopped handing out server counts).

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