Monday, August 20, 2007 at 11:54 AMBrandon Badger Product Manager
Did you ever wonder what Lewis and Clark said about your hometown as they passed through? What about if any other historical figures wrote about your part of the world? Earlier this year, we announced a first step toward geomapping the world's literary information by starting to integrate information from Google Book Search into Google Maps. Today, the Google Book Search and Google Earth teams are excited to announce the next step: a new layer in Earth that allows you to explore locations through the lens of the world's books.
Now when you turn on the "Google Book Search" layer in Google Earth (found in the "Featured Content" folder in the "Layers" menu), you'll see small book icons scattered around the globe. When you click on one of the book icons, a pop-up balloon will display a snippet of text from one of Book Search's public domain books that references that location. You'll also find links to the Google Book Search page for that snippet so that you can learn more about what it has to say about the city or town.
For example, let's say that you're interested in Detroit, Michigan. After flying there in Google Earth, you'll find that one of the book icons is for "The Writings of Thomas Jefferson." Clicking on the book icon brings up the pop-up balloon with the following text snippet:
"With respect to the unfor-tunate loss of Detroit and our army, I with pleasure see the animation it has inspired through our whole country, ..."
A link in the pop-up bubble with take you to page 191 of Jefferson's writings so that you can read the full context of the reference. We hope that you'll find this layer to be a dynamic and interesting way to explore the world's literature; it is a whole new way to visualize both the written history of your hometown as well as your favorite books.