Friday, March 2, 2012

A Curious Union

Autocomplete provides a great insight into the ponderings of a googling populace.  Here are some of the things folks are curious about regarding the (other?) states of the Union...
Actually this is in infographicicized combination of this, this, and this.

While not immediately practical in this case, roundabout ways of providing understanding for places is a crafty way of adding spatial context and can generate more meaning than standard notions of boring old attributes.  At the very least it can be pretty interesting.

More on making the most of data at


  1. Is there some place we can find the answers to these questions? Or are they hypothetical?

  2. Hi Noah. These are just the top Google autocomplete results for each of the states that start with (per map) 'why is', 'can', and 'when will.' For example, type 'why is California' into Google, the top autocomplete suggestion is 'why is California broke?' (at least when I did it back in November). Since autocomplete is a slightly mysterious popularity contest of actual searches it can serve as a sort of state-based zeitgeist. What are people wondering about the various states?

    To answer your original question, there may or may not be answers to these. Taking a quick look around the state tells me you'd be pretty satisfied with the interweb's ability to answer most of these.