13 July 2006
Philipp Lenssen’s post on Visualizing Coordinates With Google presents some interesting and unusual ways to help visualize how many results are returned when searching Google for certain keyword combinations. He’s plotted the number of results returned for various coordinates onto a grid and also the number of times a chess position was returned onto a chess board, including some variations based on chess pieces. He asks, “Which other structured numbers or words can be visualized with Google for interesting results?”
Here’s what I’ve come up with:
This image represents the number of results returned when searching Google for words and phrases corresponding to the letters, numbers or names of keys on a standard (UK English) computer keyboard; the brighter the key, the more search results were returned. I normalized the results so that the key with the most results returned has an opacity of 100% whilst the keys with the least results have an opacity of 10% (just so you can see them).
I guess the aim was to show which keys may be the most used, but there are obviously some whose results have been skewed because they share their name with another popular letter or word, particularly the “Home” and “@” keys. Nevertheless, I think it’s still a quite accurate and interesting representation.
- Where the key displays a phrase – e.g. “Caps Lock” or “Alt Gr” – I’ve searched for the words enclosed in double quotes.
- Where the key is for a symbol that Google doesn’t allow, I’ve searched for the symbol’s name – e.g. “tilde” or “question mark” – sometimes including several variations.
- Where there are multiple phrases or symbols on a key, I’ve searched for all variations separated by a vertical bar – except for the number keys because I forgot to include their shifted symbols... oops!