What we learned from 5 million books

The Kindle- a new media tablet that pulls together all of Amazon’s media services from the cloud. 18 million digital books, movies, songs, magazines, apps, and games included. And the number is growing.

But Google, an e-book powerhouse itself, provides us with endless literature, too. Over the last year Google has digitized millions of books. Sure, it would be great to read all these books, but this is just impossible. Reading just a few of them and those very carefully would be a reasonable approach, but still very unsatisfying if you take into account the number of very important books that are out there, in the cloud but still unread. So many books, so little time!  But if you want to learn how, by using specific computational methods, you can read all those digitized stories in an instant…just watch the following video. 

In their TEDTalk, Aiden and Michel explain how book forms changed over the course of time while playfully illustrating social and cultural change, too. Eventually, they discuss the Google Books Ngram Viewer and its vast potential. Thanks to digitization, we finally have got literature data and megadata, all those delicate bits and bytes of information about the art of publishing.

A unique collection of five million books: Google N-gram Viewer puts the data out there for people to play with it. What have we learned from them? Watch this TEDTalk and find out!

Header Image(s) from Pixabay & Gratisography

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