Thursday, December 23, 2010

Google's Sidewiki Looks Useful had an interesting post today about a variety of web annotation tools - you know, tools for making the equivalent of sticky notes for web pages.

We have been looking at a number of these recently, trying to figure out which one might be best for intelligence analysts.

Sidewiki caught my eye since it is fully integrated into the increasingly popular Google suite of productivity tools.

For example, I am writing this blog post using Sidewiki. Not only am I appending this note to the main SAM site as a Sidewiki entry for anyone to see, I am also publishing it to SAM with a single push of a button (so if this post looks funny, you know the reason why...).

You can find out more about Google's Sidewiki on the Sidewiki website:

in reference to: Sources And Methods (view on Google Sidewiki)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Google's New Ngram Viewer As A Research Tool

I have been playing around with Google's new Ngram Viewer this morning.  It is trickier than it looks but I still found some interesting stuff. 

What is the Ngram Viewer?  It takes all the words in all of the pages indexed by Google books and displays them by time and amount of usage.  It sounds simple but it has some extraordinary potential as a research tool.

For example, I have been trying to trace the roots of the term "intelligence cycle".  I want to know who coined the term and when did they do it (more on why I am interested in this in the new year).  The chart below shows what Google Books knows about it:

The early mention (in the 1800's) is a false one but a search of books from the 1940's yields this little gem from 1948.

This is going to be a useful research tool.  If you can think of another way to use it or find anything neat, post it in the comments!

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