Google Uses HTML5, JavaScript to Visualize Popular Searches

Google has released its annual zeitgeist report, a look at how the world searched in the last year. The zeitgeist is Google’s record of popular search terms and draws on sources like Google Insights for Search and Google Trends. It’s also a reminder that, in addition to tracking you in the usual creepy ways, Google often reveals some interesting data.

The results are predictably disappointing — despite a year’s worth of events, Chatroulette and Apple’s iPad top the list of most popular searches — but the data visualization Google has created is impressive.

The visualizations combine HTML5 with some fancy JavaScript (which appears to rely on the Dojo framework) to offer maps, bar charts and timelines. The map is particularly cool, plotting out bar graphs of searches by country with an interactive timeline slider to narrow the results by month.

Other views include bar graphs of the top search terms by category. When you click on an individual bar, the graph morphs into a timeline.

There’s also a video with some overly-nostalgic music that walks you through the top terms of the year. Check it out:

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