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Google Book Search Offers More
Major universities such as Oxford University, Harvard, Stanford, the University of Michigan and the University of California, as well as the New York Public Library are working with Google on a project called Google on the Books Library. The aim of the project is to put books online in a searchable format.
Google's book search service is almost as old as Google itself. In 1996, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page were graduate computer science students working on a research project supported by the Stanford Digital Library Technologies Project. Their goal was to make digital libraries work, and their big idea was as follows: in a future world in which vast collections of books are digitized, people would use a "web crawler" to index the books' content and analyze the connections between them, determining any given book's relevance and usefulness by tracking the number and quality of citations from other books.
There's been a lot of discussion and debate about this project and about other projects that wanted to digitize the world's books in order to make them easier for people to find and buy. Such projects are: the Library of Congress's American Memory project, Project Gutenberg, the Million Book Project and the Universal Library where have for some years copied out-of-copyright books as text files, which can then be used for printing, reading or piping into a programme for editing. What Google came to offer now is books in a "print-ready" format which is a step forward from the digitalized books only to be read on-screen.
Google's book searching device only access books that are no longer under copyright. For the books that are still under copyright Google Book Search offers only bibliographies along with limited extracts.
Google is trying to offer a wider spectrum of services planning to target the software market for companies. Google intends to offer companies the chance to run their email, calendar and other services on their own domains, to expand on the service it offers to individuals. If until now Google was focused on searching and advertising, it will come now in direct competition with software giant Microsoft.
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