An Ocean of Books

July 2020 | By Artist in Residence at Google Arts & Culture Lab: Gael Hugo, in collaboration with Satellite Studio

Open this fantasy map and navigate an ocean of books

Video Play Button

An Ocean of Books is a new way for all to explore the wonders of literature. 

As explorers used to do, enter this fantasy world and let your inspiration guide you to discover a landscape shaped by the most famous books of the Google Books collection. 

Each island represents an author, and each city is a book with a selection of more than 100,000 authors and 140,000 books. You may wonder why some authors are next to each other, or why sometimes an author seems to be positioned at an unexpected spot. To build this fantasy map, we calculated the distance between authors, based on their complex relationship on the web. With these values, we created the final map, thanks to a machine learning technique called Uniform Manifold Approximation and Projection (UMAP). 

Launch the experiment and navigate this Ocean of Books to find interesting details on your next read!