Author Archives: mang

BookReader Work Sprint at NYPL Labs

We had a really fantastic code/work sprint for the BookReader organized by the most excellent NYPL Labs.  The sprint was designed to bring together organizations that have an interest in the BookReader as a way to foster the sharing of interest, code and expertise.

New York Public Library

We started by making a list of desired features and prioritizing them.  High on the list was to make the code more modular and easier to understand, reuse and extend.  We made great progress towards that goal by creating a new plugin architecture that allows new views of the book to be added cleanly to the existing code.  For example, it will be possible to create a book view that uses the <canvas> tag or other advanced web technologies and have it automatically included in the BookReader application simply by including that plugin’s JavaScript file.

Looking down into the stacks

Another highly desired feature is making it easier for people to use their own books with the BookReader application.  Doug Reside from NYPL Labs contributed a “book loader” (our new term for the piece of code that connects the BookReader to the underlying images and metadata for a book to display) that allows you to specify the images for a book directly inside an HTML file.  This new loader provides a simple way to use the BookReader for your own books.

The new code is currently on the codesprint branch of the BookReader github repository.  We plan to integrate the new plugin system once the code has been polished and tested. Updated documentation is also coming. You can subscribe to the bookreader-announce mailing list to be notified when the code is released. You can also find more information about developing and using the BookReader in our developer resources.

Mitch Brodsky with his BookReader customized for the NY Philharmonic

This works sprint hosted by NYPL Labs marks an exciting new milestone in the development of the BookReader. We’re setting the foundation for greater re-use and collaboration around the BookReader. Many thanks to Doug Reside, David Riordan and Ben Vershbow of NYPL Labs for organizing the sprint and the fantastic attendees who contributed ideas and code commits!

BookReader Sprinters

Easy permanent links to book page images

We just launched a new image permalinks feature for downloading and linking to page images of books hosted on the Internet Archive. Using a page image permalink makes it easier to references the contents of a book hosted on the Archive without having to know the details of how or where the book is stored. Since a book’s data could be moved around within the multiple petabytes of data in the Archive at any time the permalinks provide a consistent and stable way to access the page images.

Here are a few quick examples. For each of these URLs you would add{item identifier} to the beginning (hover over an image to see its full URL).

Referencing the cover image for a book at thumbnail size:

Continue reading

Thumbnail View in BookReader!

We’re pleased to introduce a new thumbnail view for the Internet Archive BookReader. The thumbnail view gives you a quick visual impression of a book by seeing thumbnails of many pages at once. It’s a great way to quickly scan through a book.

Here’s how it looks for a book about the painter Goya:

The thumbnail view also makes it easy to pick out particular pages of interest, for example if you were trying to find the Burrowing Owl in Bird life in an Arctic Spring. Hint: here’s what he looks like:

You might also try looking at Old English colour prints or some of the other books about color prints.

This feature was submitted by Stephanie Collett of the California Digital Library via our BookReader GitHub account. It’s great to have this feature come in from the open source community building around the BookReader!

OpenBook WordPress Plugin

The OpenBook WordPress Plugin by John Miedema can be used to easily reference books from inside your WordPress blog and automatically pull covers and book data from Open Library.

We’re quite excited to see people using Open Library and building new tools using our public APIs.

Here’s an example of using the plugin:

[openbook booknumber=”0143034650″]

This book was pulled in by using this tag in the WordPress post:
[openbook booknumber="0143034650"]

The “booknumber” in this case is an ISBN book identifier and is causing a search behind the scenes.

You can also use the Open Library opaque IDs to refer to a book when the ISBN isn’t available (e.g. for books published before ISBN existed!)

In that case your link would look like this:
[openbook booknumber="/b/OL14015131M"]

Many of the Open Library books (particularly older ones) do not have a cover associated with them, but you can add one from the Open Library page for that book!

The OpenBook article in the Code4Lib journal describes some of the design decisions and implementation. (Note: the article mentions the old [openbook]0864921535[/openbook] way of using the openbook shortcode. The newer [openbook booknumber="0864921535"] style should now be used instead.)