How neat is this – Google Books lets you visualize the places mentioned in a fiction book in a map. For example, The Travels of Marco Polo becomes so much more real when you see a visual map of the locations he visited. Scroll down on the Google About Book page to see the map.
Who wouldn’t want to be a kid writing a book report in this day and age? Kiev, Venice, and Genoa, to name a few, with page number references for the book, and marked locations on a map. Click on the red pushpins to get an in-context excerpt of where the location is mentioned in the book and a page number.
I found this on the “Inside Google Book Search” blog at http://booksearch.blogspot.com/2007/01/books-mapped.html. I first heard about the Google Book project at SXSW 2005, in a panel session called “Book Digitisation And The Revenge Of The Librarians.” This blog entry on a blog called Innovation Eye does a great job of summarizing all the interesting discussion that went on between the panel members and audience members.