Data + Design Project

When Were Words Popular? PopSci Archive Explorer

Saturday 11.05.2011 , Posted by
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If you’ve ever wondered about the popularity of topics through time, this new interactive archive of Popular Science magazine is just the thing. With the help of a team at Google, the entire catalog of 1,563 Popular Science issues starting at the magazines inception in 1872 has been archived, creating a set of mineable data totaling 1.35-gigabytes. By using both a visual calendar and a circular animation of dates, users of the new Archive Explorer can see when words and terms were popular based on the number of times they appeared in that month issue. Especially interesting is observing when words like “internet” and “communist” came into use. Check it out for yourself at popsci.com.

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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