Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Topographical Search Maps


Waves of Interest is a new project visualizing the hidden patterns in Google search data. The site allows you to explore which political issues have been most searched during election years and which states have shown the most interest in each issue during every election year.

In order to track the geographical interest in different political issues Waves of Interest has created a really interesting topographical map visualization. This timeline topographical map allows you to see which political interests have trended in which states during each U.S. election year. In essence these are political issue heat maps which have been designed to resemble topographical maps.

Each of the political issue heat maps includes a timeline control which allows you to view a heat map, showing which states have searched the topic the most, during each election year. You can therefore use this timeline control to explore how the interest in a political issue has shifted geographically over time.

The Waves of Interest topographical maps are visually striking. Interestingly these heat maps don't show any underlying geographical map. Instead they rely on state place-name labels to visualize the geography. The size of these labels are also used to show which states have shown the most interest in a political issue in a particluar election year (the bigger a state's place-name label the higher the search level).

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