18 December 2010

Culturomics ~ Quantified Humanities Analytics!

Carolyn Johnson writes in the Globe today that In billions of words, digital allies find tale about Google and Harvard studying books!
"The findings, fruit of the ambitious Google project to digitize every book in existence, were reported yesterday in the journal Science. They are a tantalizing first glimpse at what researchers think may become a transformative new tool for humanities researchers. Google is publicly launching the tool, Google Books Ngram Viewer, to allow scholars or the simply curious to ask questions, such as when references to “The Great War," which peaked between 1915 and 1941, were replaced by “World War I.’’ The tool allows people to look up words or phrases that range from one to five words, and see their occurrences over time -- the frequency that a word is mentioned in a given year divided by the total number of words written that year. “This is really the largest data release in the history of the humanities -- a fantastic wealth of data," said Jean-Baptiste Michel, a postdoctoral researcher in the program for evolutionary dynamics at Harvard. “In our paper we present our initial investigation -- we explore this new terrain, we dig a little bit. It is a very cool feeling to have, but what people will be able to do will far exceed everything we have done."
Very cool to see this Culturomics work by Michel and co-author, MIT inventor-entrepreneur Erez Lieberman Aiden!

1 comment:

Lily Kim said...

Very excited about this work and looking forward to playing around with it at some point.