History As Big Data: 500 Years Of Book Images And Mapping Millions Of Books

The terms “big data” and “massive data analytics” likely conjure thoughts of the modern world, of hundreds of millions of tweets or billions of Facebook FB +0.00% posts streaming in real time into gleaming data centers filled with blinking lights. Libraries, on the other hand, filled with endless rows of dusty books, are likely not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet, what if we could use libraries to reimagine our past, creating a gallery of all the images from half a millennium of books or creating a 215-year animated map of human history as seen through millions of books?

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