ze goggles

The world's questions... many eyes on Google suggest.

Visualising results from Google suggest.

I've been meaning to play around with the google suggest api for quite a while, and was also quite curious about IBM's collaborative visualisation platform many eyes.

Google suggest has been around for a long time (as part of Google labs), but only recently got integrated by default into Google search ("At a loss for words?"). It's a fascinating data source, because it reflects how (at least the majority) of users interact with Google. See "An Expirement (sic) with Google Suggest" for some (sometimes scary) examples.

I wrote a small ruby script to recursively get a list of popular queries, starting of with some simple questions like "why is..." / "how do...", then fed the data into the word tree visualisation provided by many eyes.

Here are some examples, with comments (clicking on an image will take you to the interactive visualisation):

Why is the economy so bad / ... ?

why is the economy so bad?

Google, tell me! Please!

How do you get to ...?

how do you get to? Howling Fjord

What really surprised me here was that most of the places people try to get to appear to be situated in virtual/game worlds (Super Mario / WoW ...?). So "how do you get to howling fjord" I hear you ask. It's really easy, just follow the Grizzly Hills, it's behind there, situated in southeastern Northrend.

How do you know when your...?

how do you get to?

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