SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google News is getting a sense of the past to balance out its relentless focus on the present.
Google Inc. has added the ability to search through more than 200 years of historical newspaper archives alongside the latest contemporary information now available on Google News, the market-leading Web search firm said on Tuesday.
“The goal of the service is to allow users to explore history as it unfolded,” said Anurag Acharya, a top Google engineer who helped develop the news archive search.
“Users can see how viewpoints changed over time for events, for ideas and for people,” said Acharya, who also built the Google Scholar service for academic researchers and once was a professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Archive Search instantly generates a timeline of stories on a particular subject over the years, allowing Web surfers to target particular dates, or to observe how coverage of an issue has evolved over time.
As examples, he cited the 1969 Apollo moon landing or events with long histories such as the Palestinian conflict.
Curious reference that last item is for Reuters to make, huh?
In any case, the push to 2014 marches forward. And it will be fun to watch bloggers checking to see what (if anything) vanishes down whatever Memory Hole Google News installs, and checking it against, say, the Internet Archive Wayback Machine for years-later airbrushing.