Search giant Google is to merge its Google Books and Google Maps software so that users can find locations mentioned in the books on its mapping database.

From now on, book entries featured on Google Books will include a section called 'Places mentioned in this book'. The section has a map from Google Maps with pins showing locations included in the text.

Below the map, lists of place names, links to pages where the places are mentioned, as well as text excerpts are displayed.

Books with entries using this new mapping feature include Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days , Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace , as well as The Travels of Marco Polo .

"Why not visualise places mentioned in books on a map?" wrote David Petrou, a Google software engineer, in the official Book Search blog . "Now you can. Fact, fiction, old and new, we seek to present maps when helpful across all kinds of books."

"We hope this feature helps you plan your next trip, research an area for academic purposes, or visualise the haunts of your favourite fictional characters," he added.