Saturday, December 18, 2010

Google introduces new digital book database

Bangalore: Google has made a huge database of words and short phrases collected from nearly 5.2 million digitized books available to the public for free downloads and online searches. The search engine giant has thus widened the possibilities for research and education to greater levels, reports Patricia Cohen of The New York Times.The digital database of words and short phrases also contains a year-by-year count of how often they appear. A collection of this magnitude on the web is of great help for students of Ph.D., middle school students and anyone who does research. The storehouse consists of the 500 billion words that are contained in books published between 1800 and 2000 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese, Russian and Hebrew.
Although the target audience is the scholarly, anyone with the help of a simple online tool, can plug in a series of up to five words and see a graph that shows the phrase's use over time.
In an interesting finding, the database shows that on an average, technological advances took nearly 66 years to be adopted by the larger society in the early 1800s while it only took 27 years in the period between 1880 and 2000. It also reveals that English lexicon has grown by 70 percent to more than a million words in the last 50 years.

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