Google Correlate Lets You Search by Drawing

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Google has rolled out another way to search trends over time with the new search by drawing option in Google Correlate. Using the service, users can sketch out a graph which Google will match to search trends between 2003 and the present. The results may surprise you.

The story behind the service begins with flu. Using their search data, Google mapped the rise and fall of flu-related search terms and found that they could accurately predict oncoming infections across the population in near real-time. The same technology makes search by drawing possible, and no mean feat considering the sheer volume of data Google Correlate plows through. If you’re keen on learning more about the specifics, they’ve posted a nifty comic by way of explanation.

Of course, the utility of search by drawing is limited. However, it’s a lot of fun to see what bizarre results come up for any given shape. Just remember that as you sketch your way through Google’s search history, correlation is not causation — so don’t read too far into the results.

(Google Correlate via Hacker News)


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