Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Meaningful responses from Google Books?

I'm curious if any readers of this blog have actually seen any meaningful change in specific offering at Google Books, as a result of providing feedback. Have you seen a badly scanned book rescanned, or a public domain book in "snippet view" released for full browsing?

After a year of attempting to get some sort of straght answer about the unavailability of the(apparently fully scanned, but only snippet-viewable) Univercoelum and Spiritual Philosopher, I'm beginning to suspect that nothing results from feedback responses other than the dispersal of vague form letters.


k tutner said...

I am not sure what your issue is with this text. From just a quick search, I was unable to find any reason to believe that Google Books has a copyright free version scanned.

Please provide URLs and/or more data.

Shawn P. Wilbur said...

You can look here for the volume and at least some indications that it is a complete volume. Google's responses all look more or less like this one:
Thanks for writing in. I understand you had some questions about why the book, "The Univercœlum and Spiritual Philosopher," is not browsable at this time.

Our approach is to err on the side of caution and display at most a few snippets until we have determined that a book is no longer under copyright. We're looking into solutions to increase the number of books accessible in full view worldwide.

Our goal is to make Google Book Search as useful as possible, and that means including books as soon as we can rather than waiting for a perfect determination of public domain status.