Google Books: Champagne or Sour Grapes?

Is it possible to have a balanced discussion of Google’s outrageously ambitious and undoubtedly flawed project to scan tens of millions of books in dozens of research libraries? I have noted in this space the advantages and disadvantages of Google Books—sometimes both at one time. Heck, the only time this blog has ever been seriously […]

Google Book Search Now Maps Locations in the Text

Look at the bottom of this page for Illustrated New York: The Metropolis of To-day (1888), digitized by Google at the University of Michigan Library. Using the natural language processing of Google Maps to scan the text for addresses, the locations and surrounding text are placed onto a map of lower Manhattan. A great example […]

Five Catalonian Libraries Join the Google Library Project

The Google Library Project has, for the most part, focused on American libraries, thus pushing the EU to mount a competing project; will this announcement (which includes the National Library of Barcelona), coming on the heels of an agreement with the Complutense University of Madrid, signal the beginning of Google making inroads in Europe?

Mapping What Americans Did on September 11

I gave a talk a couple of days ago at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archivists (to a great audience—many thanks to those who were there and asked such terrific questions) in which I showed how researchers in the future will be able to intelligently search, data mine, and map digital collections. […]

Google Fingers

No, it’s not another amazing new piece of software from Google, which will type for you (though that would be nice). Just something that I’ve noticed while looking at many nineteenth-century books in Google’s massive digitization project. The following screenshot nicely reminds us that at the root of the word “digitization” is “digit,” which is […]

Mapping Recent History

As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So at the Center for History and New Media, we’re currently feeling extremely flattered that our initiatives in collecting and presenting recent history—the Echo Project (covering the history of science, technology, and industry), the September 11 Digital Archive, and the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank—are […]

Search Engine Optimization for Smarties

A Google search for “Sputnik” gives you an authoritative site from NASA in the top ten search results, but also a web page from the skydiver and ballroom-dancing enthusiast Michael Wright. This wildly democratic mix of sources perennially leads some educators to wring their hands about the state of knowledge, as yet another op-ed piece […]

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