The Rhythm of Analyzing a DH Project

With recipes and ingredients, food is no stranger to being constantly googled. “The Rhythm of Food” aims to look at and explore these googled food trends and patterns.


The data comes from Google Trends, and in particular, the Google Knowledge Graph.


The exact processes of the project are not mentioned on the website or any of the personal sites of the developers. In the “about” section, however, they do mention that the Google Knowledge Graph is used to make sure all of the data points are in fact food. Alongside the Google Knowledge Graph, Google Trends is used. On Trends, each entry (or food) has a number of “hits” based on the number of searches for that particular entry for a particular time (i.e month, year). These entries are then compiled using a programming language such as Python or R to scrape and retrieve the data. I would guess that each entry contains the number of hits relative to the date which is then organized and compiled into the month and year structures found on the website.

After the data is compiled, a data visualization tool is used such as MALLOT or Tableau (not provided which program was specifically used). Depending on this implementation, this was then was uploaded on the website using some web-based language such as Javascript to make the visualizations interactable and exist on the internet.


In terms of presentation, the developers definitely made the information clear and digestible while not sacrificing any information. The page starts out by introducing the project and highlighting several trends and themes found in their own research. Basic plots such as line graphs and histograms are used, but the most common graph is a circular graph with the months on the perimeter and years on the “radius” of the circle featuring the number of searches for each month-year combination.

In the end, they also included an interactive setup where one can look at the number of searches and graph for a particular entry. With this clear presentation, it is clear that the project focuses on the general public which allows the information to be shared with more people.


After breaking down this project, I am curious about projects with real live data (which I do not think this project has but could have chosen to include). How does that work? Is live data a necessity and when should it be considered?

The goal of this project is to see and visualize the trends in Google food searches to see if there are any patterns.

The website is a collaboration between two organizations Google News Lab and Truth & Beauty. The project lead Moritz Stefaner is the sole person responsible for Truth & Beauty while other members come from the Google News Lab and other independent sources.

James Brink

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