Fascinating tool from Google Books that analyzes and produces a data visualization of historic macro trends in literature.
New Visualization Tool from Google With Data From 5.2 Million Digitized Books
From Read Write Web:
The datasets contain phrases of up to five words with counts of how often these occurred each year, providing a great deal of insight – for scholars and casual word hounds – into how language usage changes over time. The datasets were the basis of a research project led by Harvard University’s Jean-Baptiste Michel and Erez Lieberman Aiden and published today in Science that demonstrates how quantitative analysis of texts can offer new insights into areas including censorship, technology adoption, and cultural memory.
And now Google has put that visualization tool into everyone’s hands, along with the ability to download the raw data.