An animated mosaic plot of volumes of Google searches on leading GOP presidential candidates

May 13, 2011

Select a date and press the Play from... button to animate the following mosaic plot. In any given week, the area of each cell in the plot is proportional to the quantity of Google searches on the search phrase it contains. At present, the data only covers 18 April 2010 to 16 April 2011; only four potential Republican Party presidential candidates are considered. I may update this later.

Why bother?

This is just a silly little experiment to see whether animated mosaic plots might be capable of providing data insights. I see little evidence here that this is the case.

A canny reader will notice that the plotter doesn’t handle zero counts very well. Moreover, the plotter doesn’t show that total search volumes have greatly increased across the period under consideration. That is, the ratio between the area of a rectangle and the number of searches on the phrase contained by the rectangle changes over time. To keep those ratios fixed, the entire graph would have to grow in area over time.


I extracted my data from Google Insights. I wrote the animated mosaic plotter with functions from the Raphael JavaScript library.