Google Books Disappoints

Google had promised to release its Viewability API to give access to Google Books. The buzz around digital humanists was that this wold be a wonderful tool allowing access to the content of the books. Think of the fun! Instead, here’s the scoop from their site. Looks like Google is defining “universally accessible and useful” in terms of books as objects, not books as textual content. How boring, how sad, what a lost opportunity.
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http://code.google.com/apis/books/
What are the Google Book Search APIs?
Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. To help make the information we’ve organized in Google Book Search more useful, we provide several different ways to learn about Google’s books and link to them.
Viewability API – Dynamic Links
The Google Book Search Book Viewability API enables developers to:
* Link to Books in Google Book Search using ISBNs, LCCNs, and OCLC numbers
* Know whether Google Book Search has a specific title and what the viewability of that title is
* Generate links to a thumbnail of the cover of a book
* Generate links to an informational page about a book
* Generate links to a preview of a book
Static Links to Google Book Search
Google Book Search provides a standard linking format that allows developers to link to books using ISBNs, LCCNs, and OCLC numbers.

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