Map Your Books

The folks at Google have answered a great rhetorical question with an even better internal mashup of Google Books Search and Google Maps:

So why not visualize places mentioned in books on a map? Now you can. Our team has begun to animate the static information found in books by organizing a sample of locations from them on an interactive Google Map, with snippets of text from the book, and links to the actual pages where the locations are mentioned. When our automatic techniques determine that there are a good number of quality locations from a book to show you, you’ll find a map on the “About this book” page.

Though the service works for any books available in Google Book Search, it’s much more interesting for novels or narrative nonfiction than with technical books like this one:

Google Maps Books

Perhaps it will finally help me find my way around War and Peace, though what I really need for that book is a character map.