May 27, 2014

When Did Peking Become Beijing?

John Allen Gay, The National Interest

AP Photo

What’s in a name? Place names often change, and those changes stem from a tangle of politics and language. A fun tool from Google, the Ngram Viewer, lets us watch those changes play out across history. The Ngram Viewer charts how often a particular word appears in some five million books digitized as part of the Google Books project. It lets us see the popularity of terms across a long period, from 1800 to 2008.

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TAGGED: Beijing