Monday, January 29, 2007

A bit more Wallace-related material

One of the Google blogs announced a new feature:

So why not visualize places mentioned in books on a map? Now you can. Our team has begun to animate the static information found in books by organizing a sample of locations from them on an interactive Google Map, with snippets of text from the book, and links to the actual pages where the locations are mentioned. When our automatic techniques determine that there are a good number of quality locations from a book to show you, you'll find a map on the "About this book" page.
-- Google Books Blog


What makes this DFW-related is that they use The Girl With The Curious Hair as one of their examples. I'm not sure how they determined which books will have this feature enabled. For example, Oblivion and Brief Interviews with Hideous Men do not have this feature. And it turns out that Wallace's most famous work, Infinite Jest isn't even listed in Google's Book Search.

Regardless, it's a neat idea and I can see how it'd be helpful when doing research or wanting to retrace a favorite character's footsteps.

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