Google Trends, an invention of Google Labs, performs a similar function to more traditional database analysis software by allowing users to slice Google search data in a very specific way – examining the relative popularity of any search term. See Leonhardt’s essay The Internet Knows What You’ll Do Next in today’s New York Times for more information about this informing and entertaining tool. John Battelle, says Leonhardt, once referred to the Internet as a “database of intentions”. Google Labs has given us a tool to read those intentions for ourselves. I decided to conduct a little experiment.n the Google Trends search window, I did a comparison search for the terms “Democrats” and “Republicans”. Google Trends graphed the  results, gave some key events pertinent to the chart highs, and then showed the results by city.

Note that the term “Democrats” had more searches in every case, even in Republican strongholds like Texas and Ohio.  If search engines truly reflect a “database of intentions” then we may be getting a forecast of what’s to come this Fall.

Cities Regions Languages Loading…
Top cities (normalized)
 
 
2. Reston, VA, USA
 
 
 
 
4. Seattle, WA, USA
 
 
 
 
6. Philadelphia, PA, USA
 
 
 
 
8. Minneapolis, MN, USA
 
 
 
 
10. Portland, OR, USA
 
 

Newsmap is a very cool application that uses a treemap visualization algorithm to display the constantly changing content of the Google news aggregator. You can visualize headlines by country, and/or by topic in order to reveal underlying patterns in news coverage.