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Friday, September 23, 2011

culturonomics: Google Labs' NGram Viewer

This is it: culturonomics! 
Culturonomics an provide insights about fields as diverse as lexicography, the evolution of grammar, collective memory, the adoption of technology, the pursuit of fame, censorship, and historical epidemiology. "Culturomics" extends the boundaries of rigorous quantitative inquiry to a wide array of new phenomena spanning the social sciences and the humanities.
Have you played with Google Labs' NGram Viewer? It's an addicting tool that lets you search for words and ideas in a database of 5 million books from across centuries. Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how it works, and a few of the surprising things we can learn from 500 billion words

the index of frustration:  argh

The Ngram Viewer allows users to see how often a word or phrase has been used in books across history. Google Books contains millions of books dating back to the year 1400; "over 10% of all books ever published," according to the Ngram Viewer announcement.

Ngram Viewer works rather simply. After you enter a word or phrase (up to five words), the tool displays a graph charting how frequently your term has appeared in books over that half a millennium. By default, the Ngram Viewer taps into books written in English. But you can change that to a different "corpus" or category of books, such as American English, British English, English Fiction, Chinese, French, German, Russian, or Spanish.

You can vary the years tracked, all the way from 1500 to 2008 or anywhere in between. Providing a wide range of years gives you more of an overview, while narrowing the years lets the tool graph a word's usage in a more granular fashion year by year.
Have fun!

para leer:  500 años de palabras

to follow:
Read in the NewYorker The world of publishing houses in the era of Google, Kindle and Apple

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