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Amazon Lets You See Inside the Books!

abstract:Amazon has announced a new search capability that will allow users to both see and search the inside of every page of more than 120,000 books!


November 03, 2003
— Previously you could only view the table of contents and a few select pages.  This new feature is the result of deals struck with nearly 200 publishers, and is based on a proprietary search technology that was years in the making.


How It Works

Now instead of just displaying books whose title, author, or publisher provided keywords that match your search terms, your search results will surface titles based on every word inside the book. Using Search Inside the Book is as simple as running an search.


Who's Responsible

Udi Manber, an Amazon vice-president and the company's chief algorithm officer,  was behind the development of Search Inside the Book. He says the database, which contains over 33 million pages, is several terabytes in size, and the search technology was years in the making.


To build the service, Amazon officials got permission to offer free access to these copyrighted works from some of the biggest names in the publishing business, including HarperCollins Publishers, Holtzbrinck Publishers, McGraw-Hill Professional, Publishers Group West, Random House, Inc., Simon & Schuster, Inc., Time Warner Book Group, and Wiley.


What This Means to You

Giving more power than ever to Amazon to provide the answers—you will most likely use this service to find more books that contain the search items you are looking for, and be able to see in advance how well and extensively your topic is  covered. 


Amazon maintains that people will use NOT this technology for online reading, but instead really know what they're getting into before they decide to buy. 


For more information on Amazon's new feature, read the article by Sebastian Rupley in PC Magazine, Oct 28th 2003.  



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