A glimpse of what people look for, according to Google.
Scott G Pobiner
Sven TravisWriting and Research
Loretta Joelle Wolozin
This project is about cultural big data, more specifically what we can learn about culture and society through Google Searches. At the same time, it is a project about what we cannot learn from it, because most of this data is kept unavailable to the public.
Today companies collect a large amount of information about people’s actions, from who they interact with to where they are. This data is an important asset that reveals patterns and trends of our society and should be used for public benefit.
With more than a billion users per month, Google’s data from searches is a specially relevant example. It is a comprehensive record of our times, and reveals what we love and hate the most from the micro individual level to the macro global one. But only a small fraction of this collection is publicly available, making it impossible to be analyzed.
This projects is an attempt to archive and make accessible part of this data. It saves a daily collection of Google Autocomplete predictions, a peek into what people are looking for. It compares searches across multiple languages and media, inviting us to discover what Google says about ourselves.