March 13, 2007

Earth discourse

Filed under: map, mashups — ubikcan @ 5:20 pm

This has been extensively blogged, and it’s easy to see why:

It’s a map of all the places ever mentioned in books!

A Google researcher (he’s only been there a month!) cranked through all the online books hosted at Google (he didn’t say how many there were, but even with Google’s combined firepower, it took 45 minutes to produce the map).

How to think about this? A map of the intellectual landscape? Global consciousness of place?

Analyzing the data further reveals historical patterns. Take books published in the 1800s:

A much sparser pattern, with Africa hardly appearing (and at that, coastal Africa).

One day soon this will be avilable to all, and interactive as well.


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