February 2011: Volume 37, Number 2
Enter a Search Word, Track Its UsageGoogle’s New Visualization Tool
Google has launched a new tool that allows users to track the frequency of specific words and phrases in books going back centuries. The idea behind the new service is to quantify the data found within the Google library, which houses roughly 5.2 million digitized book titles. With more than 500 billion words from books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish, German, Chinese and Russian, the new program offers unique possibilities for clinical laboratory research and analysis.
Users type in a word or string of words into the Google Books Ngram Viewer website, as well as the desired limits for publication dates of books, to perform the search. The program provides a chart showing how the term or terms trended in the selected time frame, and even lets users download their data sets and build their own research tools.
In seconds, Google’s Ngram Viewer quickly displays data on any word or short phrase. Shown here is a search on the word troponin.
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