Anything ever written about your hometown...

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...will soon be available on Google Earth, the free software program that incorporates satellite photos, hotel reviews, and other data into Google's street maps.

On Monday, Google mixed together its digital archives of much of the world's published literature with its Google Earth mapping service.

Here's the explanation from Google:

Now when you turn on the "Google Book Search" layer in Google Earth (found in the "Featured Content" folder in the "Layers" menu), you'll see small book icons scattered around the globe. When you click on one of the book icons, a pop-up balloon will display a snippet of text from one of Book Search's public domain books that references that location. You'll also find links to the Google Book Search page for that snippet so that you can learn more about what it has to say about the city or town.

For example, let's say that you're interested in Detroit, Michigan. After flying there in Google Earth, you'll find that one of the book icons is for "The Writings of Thomas Jefferson." Clicking on the book icon brings up the pop-up balloon with the following text snippet:

"With respect to the unfor-tunate loss of Detroit and our army, I with pleasure see the animation it has inspired through our whole country, ..."

Earlier: Learn about other cool Google Earth features.

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