Viewers Choice


Using data from google searches Shirley Wu has compiled data from google searches for destinations around the world. She categorized this data into 7 categories: City’s, Regions, Attractions, Nature, People, History, and other. Through visualizations she helps the user understand how and when different nations search for potential travel destinations.

The Data

The travel destination was taken by doing several searches via Google Trends with data from 2014 searching each nation by Tourist destinations. As a side note google will allow you to use Google trends to find data for past years, by using this link so you can still easily search through the data they used for this visualization. The data was then analyzed via the Google Knowledge Graph that allowed her to determine the correct category for each of the search terms.

How to use the Visualization

The Explore Adventure Visualization spends a lot of time making sure that the user understands how to clearly interpret the data, on a separate webpage she even spends a good deal of time explaining the design process.

The author not only spends a good amount of time explaining what each category is and the color that they correspond to but what each of the bars on the graph mean.

On the overall chart we see that Countries are ordered by distance away from the location of the desired search country. When you hover over a bar you see what the search parameter the box is representing. The colors represent the categories, lighter color indicates the search parameter is more commonly searched in a different season and the darker color indicates that the parameter is most searched in the selected season.

The Best Features

  • Along with seeing the boxes referenced above explore adventure we are given a map to reference the searches from 2004 – 2017. This visualization allows you to really understand how the searches are happening, you can clearly see how people search different travel locations throughout time and how the different seasons effect the number of searches that occur.
  • The UI Choices for this visualization where well made. The colors where in a wide range and contrasted with each other, and the rest of the application was white making the colors stand out from each other more.
  • Having the ability to filter by a specific search category for each season, with so 8 categories and multiple different parameters that appear the looking at the visualization as a whole can be a little overwhelming all at once.

Concerns/Possible Changes

  • There are some points in the data that may be a cause for concern, it seems like some parameters where incorrectly included in the data. When looking through some of the visualized results I found “T-Mobile – United Kingdom” which is likely being searched by people looking for a local location Rather than a place to visit. Some of the other parameters are questionable as well, For example “Chile national football team- Chile” and “Gibraltar national football Team – Germany” where probably being searched by people interested in the teams rather that people wanting to visit them. I was also able to find a small box representing a Hurricane.
  • Another slight criticism of the visualization I have is the use of bold and light colors to represent if a search parameter is commonly searched in the selected season. Though all data is still visible I think most people would end up ignoring the data points.
  • When you hover over a category I wish that you could see a little more data as you hovered, like being able to see the number of searches where made with that particular parameter.

Interesting findings

  • From looking at the map you can clearly see a seasonal trend to when searches occur, with peeks in searches occurring in the Winter/Spring and valleys occurring in the Summer/Fall. These searches are probably tied to when people start to plan their vacations in the warmer months.
  • The US, Spain and Germany tends to always have the majority of these searches occur in Coratia, Italy, Spain, Greece, and Portugal rather than people searching for places within the united states.
  • You can see a clear disparity between nations when it comes to the amount of searches and where people search. As seen in the figure above nations that are considered developed tend to have a wide range of searches in many countries, however when you look for the charts for developed countries you notice a drastic change. In most developing countries there are a lot fewer searches overall, and the majority of these searches are for locations that are located within the country itself.