Every day, there are 3 billion+ searches on Google. These implicit requests for information give us a unique insight into what the world cares about, intended and unintended.
Google data is huge: billions of searches from across the globe. That data is aggregated and anonymised to provide the world's biggest journalistic dataset. It uses Google’s ‘knowledge graph’ technology to allow reporters to make meaningful rankings of what matters to the world by comparing ‘entities’ — groups of terms used to describe one subject.
The data is then normalised — in this case by the city it is from. That way each town is equal in Google data: for an issue to show up, it has to be truly significant.
The result? Google data can tell you how something compares to another; how “climate change’ compares to searches for new cars or recycling, for example.