A World of Change

This Google Trends interactive shows how searches reflect the way people from around the world think about climate change. It displays search volumes in 20 major cities from 2004-2015, for topics such as energy, recycling, oceans, air pollution, and other words and phrases that relate to the environment.

After selecting a topic, the geometric globe rotates as searches from around the world are displayed. The letters in the searches appear one after another, creating a typing effect. Each search covers roughly the size of an entire continent on the globe, making the globe seem like a small, intimate space, instead of an incredibly vast planet.

You can also click on specific cities and learn more about that city’s concerns regarding a certain environmental topic.

According to Simon Rogers, a contributor to the interactive, the goal was to take Google’s enormous amount of data (there are over 3 billion searches a day) and “make those huge numbers meaningful.” The interactive accomplishes this goal by presenting a snapshot of searches and allowing the user to explore specific topics or cities in just enough detail to pique their interest, but not too much to be overwhelming.

This interactive is geared towards casual views who are interested in learning more about attitudes towards climate around the world at a high level. The interactive isn’t targeted at people who are already experts in this domain or people who want to dive deep into data analysis.