Friday, December 17, 2010

Google's New Tool

Google Lab's new tool, called Books Ngram Viewer is extremely awesome. I think I should be able to use this for some really fascinating networks projects in the future. There are things that I have wanted to do that would involve text searching, and this might well allow me to do it (or at least to help me to do it).

And as you can see from my chosen plot, baseball has defeated cricket. (And I am damn curious about baseball's spike in the 1700s.)

(Tip of the cap to Bernie Hogan, who told me about this at the pub tonight.)

Update (12/23/10): Here is a link to the article about the new tool. One of the authors is Martin Nowak, who is quite a familiar name. Also, I love the use of the monicker "The Google Books Team" as one of the authors.


GFreak said...

Wow... I had always thought that baseball was "invented" in the early to mid-1800s, but from Wikipedia:

The earliest known reference to baseball is in a 1744 British publication, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, by John Newbery. It contains a rhymed description of "base-ball" and a woodcut that shows a field set-up somewhat similar to the modern game—though in a triangular rather than diamond configuration, and with posts instead of ground-level bases.[5] English lawyer William Bray recorded a game of baseball on Easter Monday 1755 in Guildford, Surrey; Bray's diary was verified as authentic in September 2008.[6]

I had no idea.

Mason said...

I heard about Bray's diary in 2008. In fact I blogged about it back then. I had forgotten, however, that the source was from the 1700s. It was apparently also considered a women's game.

Hmmm... I have the slight urge to fix the (copy/paste-induced) spacing problems in that old entry, but I think it's probably beyond the statute of limitations for that.