Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Comics in Google Books

Now that Google has finished scanning our library, some of the comics & graphic novels scanned have started to make their way into Google Books (and its local equivalent, MBooks). A quick search of Mirlyn (our local catalog) shows at least 375 so far, with more sure to come.

Of course, with most of these scanned items still in copyright, they are only available in search mode; which means that you can search the text of the books (and see 'snippets' where the search terms appear) but not actually view the pages of the books themselves; for that you'll still need to go to your friendly local comic store (or public library!)

As might be expected, the quality of the OCR when dealing with hand lettering can be rather poor. Take for example the Google scan of Avengers: Emperor Doom, with 'key words and phrases' that include 'THROUÖH', 'RI&HT', 'THINÖ', and 'AVENÖERS'--we can infer that Google's OCR had difficulties with letterer Bill Oakley's 'G'.

So I'm not exactly sure what the utility will be of having these scans available, but it does make for an interesting curiosity.


Jon Silpayamanant said...

Did they actually scan everything in the library?

Dave Carter said...

They took nearly everything to scan, but most likely did not scan everything taken due to some publishers opting out.

Jon Silpayamanant said...

Ah, I see--I had thought that a number of publishers refused to give google permission to do that.