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Word Frequency with Popular Science

Popular Science teamed up with Google to index and archive all of their past issues back to 1872 – all 1523 issues. Because of this and the ability to search for scanned words in Google Books, you can now search for words in the magazine. Popular Science went a step further. They created a tool with Pitch Interactive to search for a particular word which then will return the visualization of the occurance of the word throughout the time grid of the magazine’s history.

When I had to go through index cards at the library and later through cd abstracts to find information, I knew there would be a better way to find information with the use of computers. Yes the Internet allows to find things, but in a public setting in my own office or living room, I can now index and search for a keyword in a better way – visually perusing what I need to find. I hope other journals and publications would adopt this process, though this is the first and best way I have found such a visual deployment. The downside is of course only one word can be found, not a full phrase such as moon landing, just moon will have to do. I can of course narrow from my own knowledge of when such a word is relevant. Such as 1969 rather than 1930.

Try it out. It’s quite the thing, though be careful not to find yourself down the rabbit hole such as when one uses Wikipedia if you are looking for something specific. It can be quite engrossing.