Sunday, June 23, 2013

Game of Thrones Kindle Dictionary

One day as I was talking to some friends who were reading the Game of Thrones series on their kindles, I realized that it would be awesome to have a dictionary that was tied into the Kindle and had all the characters and locations built in so that you could look it up.

With the X-Ray stuff that comes with the book there are some details about the characters, but not too much, and there is no information about the locations or maps.  In particular, the maps that come with the books look awful on the kindle.

So I decided to try and do something about it.

To do this I first had to determine exactly how to create a dictionary for the kindle.  Luckily I found an extremely useful site that detailed exactly how to make a dictionary and provided the software necessary to actually create it.  The link with all of the necessary information is Kindle Dictionary.

Second I had to determine where to get the information from.  To do this I primarily used the Game of Thrones Wikipedia page, which can be found here.  I also supplemented it with my knowledge of the series.

I started by taking the list of characters and then going through them and adding descriptions for them.  Since I wanted this to be useful for all readers, not just those that have read all the books I went through a lot of pains to remove all spoilers.  In particular I had to remove past tense verbs for characters who were dead and plot points from later books.

I then talked to my friends who were reading the series and added a few more categories that they wanted such as ship names and house information.  Finally, I added all the locations and maps for most of them.

All in all it ended up being a pretty extensive dictionary and seems to be fairly useful.  It certainly isn't perfect, but I think it is a good first start.

I will just go over a little bit about how it works, which is basically just how a Kindle Dictionary works.

 If there is a word that you want to know the definition of you simple highlight it, either with your finger or .... other Kindle Device. I have a touch, so I don't know how the other Kindles work.  Anyway, you highlight the word and it brings up the beginning of the definition.  In the picture below I highlighted Robb and so it brings up the definition for Robb Stark.  If you wanted to read the entire definition then you click the full definition button.  There are some names with multiple characters, such as Jon.  For those I had to make disambiguation pages that have the list of all Jon's and then you can pick the one that you want to read about.


I tried to include locations for all of the maps.  The example below shows that.  In this case it is just a map of the North that has the information for Widow's Watch on top of it.

The Kindle allows you to increase the size of the images.  To do that just click and hold on the image and then the following screen will pop up.  You can click the magnifying class to get the image to go full screen.

Which isn't really large... but larger at least.

For places where the map did not fit on the page I added a sentence saying that the map was on the next page.

And that was pretty much that.  That was a lot of work boiled into a short description.  I finished this In April or May probably and gave it to my friends.  I always ask them about feedback and they always have forgotten something they wanted to be added, but in general they seemed to find it useful.  So I figured I should share it with the world.

The Dictionary file can be found here: GOTDict.mobi
The README, which is basically what I have written here can be found here: README

The information that I used to create this dictionary, which was the Song of Ice and Fire wiki, is covered by the creative commons.
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

37 comments:

Eric said...

How do we make this thing go viral? There must be thousands of folks out there that could use this.

A couple ideas:

1. I think you should mention the despoilering in the README. If someone got the files but didn't see this blog post, I could see them not using it for fear of spoilers.

2. Have you thought about creating a GitHub account and putting it up there? That has a few advantages: First, its social features might help bring it to more people's attention. Second, people can submit patches to you (you can review them before accepting or rejecting).

Anonymous said...

Hi ! Thank's for the good work you did on this. I'm reading GOT in French and I cannot select your dictionnary as the default dictionnary for French, is there any workaround ?

The Elephant said...

Hi! Thanks for your interest. I am not sure if this will work, but I tried setting it as a French dictionary. I am not sure the exact stuff to do. So if this doesn't work just let me know.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/rvgmj0u93vlai4u/GOTDict_FR.mobi

Anonymous said...

Hey, this is EXCELLENT and really helpful! I'm currently trying to convert this to work with a nook HD dictionary (it's a much larger pain-in-the-ass).

If you're looking to get spread word of this, I'd try the subreddits on reddit.com, specifically the one for the book series http://www.reddit.com/r/asoiaf and the one for the TV series http://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/

If your site is ready for the traffic it would generate (quarter of a million subscribers on those forums), have at it.

Much thanks!

The Elephant said...

Thanks! I am glad you found it helpful. It you need the excel file that I used to create this let me know and I can share that with you as well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, your trick made it, it works well !
This will help me let my smartphone away while reading.

Anonymous said...

Nook Version???

Andi said...

A really nice work you did there, thank you! I always have problems remembering who all the characters are, so this is really helpful for me.
Just one question: If i set your GoT dictionary as primary dictionary for the english language i don't get the definition for english words any more. Only for the contents of your GoT dict. May this be because of my Kindle eReader (non-touch)?

The Elephant said...

Huh, yeah, I was very worried about that, but it worked for mine. I think one of my friends who tried had an older version of the Kindle and also didn't get the default English version.

There isn't much I can do about it sadly, other than adding an entire English Dictionary to the GOT dictionary.

Andi said...

Since english isn't my native language, i hoped this would work. I understand it isn't your fault, maybe i'll ask in the Amazon forums or write them an e-mail. My Kindle isn't that old (4th generation i think) and has the most recent firmware 4.1.1. So i don't see a reason why it should behave different than your Kindle Touch.
Just if no other way works: Would it be possible to join the Oxford Dictionary and yours in a single file?
Thanks again for your work!

The Elephant said...

Sorry, I don't own a nook and can't test it, which makes it rather hard to make. As the commenter above said, it is much harder to do as well. If you would like to take a shot at it I can certainly give you the excel file that I used.

The Elephant said...

Hmm... maybe I just got lucky and it isn't actually supposed to work. That would be a little annoying.

Anyway, it would be possible to merge the GOT dictionary with an English Dictionary. I am not sure what merging the files would be like though.

steve said...

I CAN'T EXPLAIN HOW AMAZING THIS DICTIONARY IS. AND ALSO HOW MUCH I APPRECIATE THE WORK YOU HAVE PUT INTO THIS . THANK YOU SOOO MUCH. GOD BLESS YOU.

The Elephant said...

Thanks! I am glad that it was helpful for you. :)

w_ti_kosmos_mpampa said...

first of all congratulation for your effort.
I just bought the new Kindle paperwhite 2nd edition.
With the previous version of Kindle, having your dictionary as default, when I pressed on a word that was not on your dictionary, it would show the definition on another dictionary (e.g. Oxford).
With the new Kindle, I cannot manage that. Do you know why this happens?

Thanks in advance,

Greetings from Greece

The Elephant said...

Hmm... That is a little annoying. I don't have a paperwhite, so I don't know exactly what is going on, but the link below might be useful.
http://learnoutlive.com/how-to-change-dictionaries-on-the-new-kindle-paperwhite/

It is kind of an awkward way to get around the issue, but it might work....They also changed how dictionaries work on my version so things are no longer as slick as they used to be. I might go back and rework this to try and make a better version.

The Elephant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
w_ti_kosmos_mpampa said...

According to
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=228552
they have removed the ability to change between dictionaries in the New paperwhite.. What a stupid move..
Thanks anyway for your immediate response.
Happy new year!

Anonymous said...

I just got a Paperwhite on Monday (4/29/14) and can confirm that this still works just fine and is awesome! I didn't see it in the list of dictionaries at first, but then realized I hadn't gone deep enough into the menu. It looked like it only had the Oxford English dictionary, but once I clicked "English" it gave me the other dictionaries. (Main Menu / Menu / Settings / Device Options / Language and Dictionaries / Dictionaries / English / GOTDict etc)

Anonymous said...

errr 4/28/14, whatever.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for putting this together! It's been a year or two since I finished the fourth book, so this dictionary is extremely helpful now that I've finally started the fifth. Kudos!

The Elephant said...

Awesome! Glad to hear that it works with the Paperwhite!

The Elephant said...

Great! I am glad it has been helpful. I contemplated making spoiler versions for after each book, but that was way to much work. Perhaps when Book 6 comes out, since I will probably need it for myself. :P

Tangopolis said...

Hi! I have just downloaded your dictionary.. Great work!!!!
One big question: I read the book in english but speak spanish, so I do need the english dictionary too. Is there any way to integrate both dictionaries in one?
Thanks a lot!

Tangopolis said...

Important information!!! After a little bit of research, I found the last Kindle software update allows the quick dictionary change again. Hope it helps!

The Elephant said...

Hmm.... Integrating the dictionaries would be a lot of work, mainly because I can't modify the default English Dictionary. If your kindle is currently using a spanish dictionary, then this dictionary cannot be selected as a default for that. but there is a workaround as I can compile a new version that will work as a Spanish dictionary. I don't know that that will do to anything else though. If the dictionary doesn't work as is let me know and I will make a Spanish version.

The Elephant said...

Ah, excellent. Hopefully that makes things easier. :)

Honorato Júnior said...

Hi,

I couldn't use it, maybe because it's in english and my kindle and my digital copy are both in portuguese (BR) :(

Could you provide the source code, so I can compile in another language?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Great, man. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Hello,
This is great. I'd like to use it on my Kobo. Could you possibly provide me the source code?

Gormie said...

This is great! Thank you!

Muttaki Ünlü said...

Thank you very much for your great efforts.

Anonymous said...

doesnt x-ray already do this?

tashmoo said...

you are awesome man. thanks for all the effort

Anonymous said...

this is very great. :)
i was searching for this because I thought there must be a very nice person on the internet that did exaclty that. what can i say i wasnt disappointed. Thank you!!

Paradigma Epistêmico said...

Is there an easy way to edit only the dictionary into another language? I want to build it in Brazilian Portuguese. Great Job!