Douwe Osinga's Blog: Land Geist

Monday, January 5, 2004

A new year, a new project. Google has its Zeitgeist,
I just launched my Landgeist. Landgeist takes a word and sees how
often it appears together with the name of a country and then projects the results on a
world map. Sounds complicated, but is really fun. Take malaria, you’d expect a map to appear
which is similar to a malaria map, but it isn’t.
Africa is bright red, the rest of the world
is greenish. That is when people talk about Africa, they talk about malaria, war and poverty.
There are no other subjects. Meanwhile South-East Asia has quite a bit of Malaria, but it doesn’t
show as much, because we know more things about South-East Asia than just Malaria.

Landgeist is not done using Google; Google claims that 8% of all pages containing
“united states” also contain the word cheese. Other search engines put this at 1% or
so. Also, the Google search api returns completely different numbes. So, I don’t trust
Google for this and decided to use AllTheWeb instead, one of my old time favourites.