Google Correlate matches search trends based on drawn data series

Google Correlate is an interesting new experiment on Google Labs which allows you to draw a data series and get back results of search query trends which match your drawn pattern.

As the diagram above shows, you use a pen tool to sketch out an interesting curve shape and then press the Correlate! button to initiate the search. Google then runs rapid correlation tests to discover the best fit patterns of web search activity to return a set of suggested search terms which match this shape. In the example below, the search term “centrino laptop” was the most closely correlated with the drawn shape.

It is essentially Google Trends – where you type in a query and get back a series of its frequency – but in reverse.

On the Google Correlate site you can view a comic which explains the inspiration for this tool as well as a more detailed whitepaper about its development.

Interactive Twitter visualisation maps UK eyesight

TwitterVision is a novel research project commissioned by UK laser eye surgery specialists Ultralase which aims to reveal the state of the nation’s eyesight using Twitter to plot people’s eye prescriptions.

The application merges user-submitted prescription data from structured tweets with Ultralase’s own in-house data, in order to visualise the UK’s eyesight quality in an intuitive and original way. The interactive allows you to zoom in and check out the eyesight from your postcode and compare the patterns across the country.

Ultralase is also donating 10p for every relevant tweet to the charity Vision Aid Overseas to help raise funds for a project in Uganda. You can find more information about the project here.