Google Korea has opened a search service named the Google Book Search (http://books.google.com/books) on October 14. Google Book Search was first introduced in the U.S. in 2004 under the name of Google Print, and was launched in Korea last month
Ewha Womans University Press (EUP) has contracted a partnership with the new service, which will provide its publishing information to Ewha users. In , the Google Book Search has contracted over 1 million books with Kyobo Book Store, Changbi Publishers, and Ewha Womans University Press. “EUP contracted with the Google Book Search in July, 2008. Among the provided book information, about 10 percent of EUP books will be available to full preview,” said Kim Hye-ryen, the Managing Director of EUP.
At Google Book Search, the book series “Pathfinder in Korean,” published by Ewha Womans University Press, is provided for a full preview. Not only are Korean books available, but users can also see books provided by the U.S. version of Google; including such diverse entries as Life magazines from 1950’s or classic novels from the computer. “With Google Book Search, it is now possible for domestic users to find information on books that are from both domestic and international,” said Lee Hai-min, the Product Manager at Google Korea. “Partners are also one-step closer to the readers as they provide the information more effectively.
Google Book Search is a service through which users can search for the related original texts from books that are relevant to the users’ key words. The texts are from the database that Google has scanned using an Elphel 323 camera, which makes it possible for Google to scan 1,000 pages per hour. Google then converts scanned books into texts by using optical character recognition, which is an electric translation of images of printed text into electric files, making it possible for users to search online.
Google Book Search currently has 10 million books in its database, and has contracted with over 25,000 publisher partners and 40 university libraries, including Harvard University. Of the scanned books, most of them are no longer available in stores, and over one million books are able to “full preview,” which means users can view not only the relevant part that they have searched for, but also the entire text of the book. Therefore users can spare the trouble of going to the library. Also, the service shows users the scanned images of the book, not by the text form alone, hence making the users feel like they are reading the actual book.