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Google Earth Gets Book Search Layer

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To research a place’s past, you could drive around looking for historical markers.  Or you could call up Google Earth; a new default layer allows users to “explore locations through the lens of the world’s books.”

Granted, not every suburb is going to show up in this layer, but then again, it’s hard to hop in the car and scope out Singapore.  Call it a happy medium, then, that “[n]ow when you turn on the ‘Google Book Search’ layer in Google Earth . . . 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.”

As Brandon Badger, a product manager, stated on the Google LatLong Blog, “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.”

If this development sounds familiar, that’s because a similar integration occurred between Google Book Search and Google Maps about seven months ago.  And Matthew Gray’s “Earth viewed from books” isn’t entirely unrelated, either.  MG Siegler writes, “Now they just need to do the big integration: melding Google Maps and Google Earth into one all-encompassing web app.  Of course I’m hoping they wait until the state of American broadband is a bit better . . .”

In the meantime, at least Google Earth is somewhat improved.

Google Earth Gets Book Search Layer
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