13 July 2006

Visualizing Google Search Results

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:

Visualizing Google Search Results: Keys on a Computer Keyboard

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.

Some notes:



Having done a visualisation degree at university, this is all very interesting, however since I've done a visualisation degree I'm annoyed that I can't think of anything else to apply this technique to! Plenty of food for thought though, that idea may come....

Have you ever thought of taking up a nice hobby or something, Tony?

I think that's a beautiful image in itself. It could be the inspriation for a whole series of images that could be made using all sorts of mediums. I think it would make a good rug design for example, or a scultural piece with blocks of perspex in different heights depending on the colour underneath.