Retro-Quant Industry Makes a Big Leap Forward: Google News Archive Search

September 09 2008 / by Alvis Brigis / In association with Future
Category: The Web   Year: 2008   Rating: 15 Hot

Think you’re immune to Google Search? A new effort by the company promises to unearth your embarrassing Elementary School photos, achievements and other data, then incorporate those into the Google brain.

The Retro-Active Quantification Industry, which I believe will grow to a multi-billion $ valuation by 2015, made a big leap forward this week with the release of Google’s News Archive Search. Many years in the works, the new service/feature allows users to do exactly what it says – search a huge body of archived small-town newspapers that have been scanned into Google’s system, converted from visual to text data using the company’s perfected system (note: they’re also working on a similar but more robust system that will mine text data – t-shirts, street signs, house #s, etc. – from photographs), and then indexed using Google’s world-famous search.

Best of all, Google allows you to view the original scanned images and “browse through them exactly as they were printed—photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all”, much like a microfiche in a library basement (remember those?).

With this latest release it is clear that Google’s fingers, aka its spiders, will effectively reach backward, in addition to outward, as the company seeks to index and network all valuable information. It is possible that this effort will unlock a great deal of additional income for the growing giant and may be one of the reason’s CEO Eric Schmidt expects that Google could one day be responsible for 10 percent of the all advertising and a high percentage United States’ gross domestic product (GDP).

It’s also now a bit more realistic to assume that a great many skeletons will soon be exiting their respective closets. History just can’t hide from advancing technology.

Comment Thread (3 Responses)

  1. I remember as a kid going to the local public library and looking at cartoons from the 1900’s, man were they not funny.

    Posted by: martymcfly   September 09, 2008
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  2. I am excited by the digitization of archives because it insures that our history won’t be left behind in the electronic age. It also makes our history more accessible, which helps us learn more about where we came from and how we got here. I, for one, can’t wait to find out more about what life was like in the town my grandmother was born, when she was born there.

    Posted by: Mielle Sullivan   September 10, 2008
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  3. This definitely makes me realize how much of a digital age we are in and how print is a dying medium. This archive is very similar to the way back machine used on the internet archive, only that it’s done on the print format. But, I definitely wouldn’t want my elementary school pictures posted onto google’s search engine.

    Posted by: christinep   October 13, 2008
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