Learning about 3D (Part 2)

By Len Scrogan Don't Use
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3D in Education – In last month’s article, Learning about 3D (1), we explored one of Google’s free resources for learning about 3D – Google Trends. In this article, we continue our efforts by diving into Google Books Ngram Viewer. Both of these free online resources may be, in fact, enormously useful beyond the bounds of the traditional classroom, helping modern 3D technology companies plan better and go about their work in a smarter way.

Google Ngram Viewer

Ngram viewer does a clever job of tracking words, phrases, or letter combinations in books digitized by Google and giving us some unique insights on language and trends. These digital corpora are updated yearly, and currently Ngram Viewer houses more than five million books (through to 2012).

Let’s begin by using Ngram Viewer to learn about the 3D world. In our previous article, we employed Google Trends to determine the most preferable spelling: 3D or 3-D. We uncovered how often either term had been used in searches and which countries seem to offer the most interest in searching for information about 3D.  We also touched upon the topics that seemed to be rising to the top, where 3D was trending.

This time, using Ngram Viewer, we will again compare the frequency of use for the terms 3D and 3-D – appearing in books (fiction and non-fiction) over time – and will provide some additional interesting insight about contemporary cultural memes (see interactive charts below):

3D versus 3-D

As one can see, based on a snapshot of fiction and non-fiction books, "3D" is rapidly replacing "3-D" as a norm. Similarly, "3D" is also replacing the lower case "3d" in our modern lexicon.

Finally, let’s take a look at what’s been happening to 3D within a digital content publishing environment:

Although it looks like the steep expansion curve has halted, there is more to it. If you drill down individually on Russian, Spanish, French, and German language usage of the term “3D” in digital content, you can clearly see that the growth and interest is still booming. It’s chiefly the English-speaking world that is experiencing a declining trajectory for 3D as a cultural meme.  But we knew that already. Of course, there’s a lot more than can be done with Ngram Viewer to understand current memes, culturematics, and trends in your own business ventures. For leaning about 3D, or any other potential topic, take a look at Ngram Viewer. – Len Scrogan