Culturomics is the study  and  quantifying of cultural trends based on massive quantities of data.

Google Books Ngram Viewer

The browser is designed to enable you to examine the frequency of words (banana) or phrases (‘United States of America’) in books over time. [pullquote]You’ll be searching through over 5.2 million books: ~4% of all books ever published![/pullquote]

When you enter phrases into the Google Books Ngram Viewer, it displays a graph showing how those phrases have occurred in a corpus of books (e.g., “British English”, “English Fiction”, “French”) over the selected years.

It is an application developed by google which searches a database of words published since 1500 till date and provides a graph on the usage pattern of the word over the centuries.

For example the word India was used the highest during 1880’s coinciding with the British getting full control of the Indian sub-continent. India was probably the talk of the world when the plunder and siphoning of the Indian wealth to England started.

Its further interesting to note that the graph shows a rising trend from 2000 onwards as the world starts believing the India Growth Story.

Click here to view the graph in a new browser

 

Then I discovered that Ngram Viewer is case sensitive but Google Books Search is not. So I was curious to find out how will the graph pan out for India with a capital ‘I’.

Here it is.

 

Click here to view the graph in a new browser

India with a capital ‘I’ has been mentioned more in the 1960 and has been trending downwards since. There are lot of caveats for interpretation of results.

If you have read this so far… do check it out. Its interesting read.

Further Reading:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2010/12/15/science.1199644

http://www.uic.edu/htbin/cgiwrap/bin/ojs/index.php/fm/article/viewArticle/3663/3040

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One Response to “Culturomics-culture with a binary twist”

  1. Culturomics-culture with a binary twist http://t.co/dkzMnsB4Fc

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