What we've been working on

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 at 9:08 PM

We've been working hard to make books more accessible to more people, and we're pleased to announce that we are now one step closer to that goal. If you've visited Google Book Search recently you may have noticed things look a bit different -- that's because we've just launched a bunch of new features and a whole new interface to make your online book experience better.

First, we made it easier to find books you may be interested in by improving the "About this book" page. If you're a bookworm looking for your next book to devour, you can easily find new books via the related books feature. I stumbled upon Treasure Lost at Sea: Diving to the World's Great Shipwrecks from the "About this book" page of Shipwrecks in the Americas. If you're trying to beef up your research by uncovering relevant work, then you may want to check the references from books and scholarly works. I started with something I knew (Computational Linguistics: An Introduction) and discovered a number of related books and papers I didn't know about before. Once you find a book you might be interested in, you can now see its chapter titles, key terms, and selected pages all on the same page, helping you get a feel for it.

Next, we designed a new browsing interface. You can simply scroll through the pages, or, for full view books, view them in two-page mode and flip through just like a book. You can zoom in, switch to full screen, and jump directly to the chapters that interest you. If the book is part of the public domain, you can comfortably read it on screen or download it if you prefer. For an in-copyright book, just follow the links to buy it or to find it in a library.

I'm really excited about these new features, not only because I worked on some of them, but also because I love books. Enjoy! (And be sure to let us know what you think.)


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