December 8, 2014

Is it 3D or 3-D?

One of the most useful tools for learning about 3D is Google Trends. Google Trends is a Google-based search utility that shows how frequently a search phrase is entered from various parts of the world.  Quoting from Wikipedia, “the horizontal axis of the main graph represents time (starting from 2004), and the vertical is how often a term is searched for relative to the total number of searches, globally.” Using Google Trends, a plethora of fruitful questions become possible exploration avenues:
  • Is 3D a more preferable spelling? Or is 3-D best? 
  • How often has either term been used in searches? 
  • What countries seem to offer the most interest in searching for information about 3D? 
  • What are the topics that seem to be rising to the top? 
  • How is 3D trending?
Let’s begin by exploring Google Trends to learn about the term '3D' itself. Comparing the terms 3D and 3-D—used as search terms over time—provides some interesting insight (see interactive charts below):
x x

What does this all mean? As you can see, the use of the spelling “3-D is on a downward spiral, while the use of the spelling “3D” has continued to find itself commonplace. Why is that? Probably because many editorial style guidelines have now standardized on “3D” as a simpler approach to referring to 3D, while losing nothing in the meaning. In the long run, simplicity always wins out over complexity in our lexicon.

Another possible interpretation of these data is that the “death of 3D” that we often hear about is clearly exaggerated. Interest in “all things 3D” is here to stay, although it still experiences its expected cyclical highs and lows.

No comments:

Post a Comment