The good, the bad, and the ugly: what we're Googling

Happy Thanksgiving from nyc!

Here's Snoopy and Woodstock in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, taken from our rooftop deck in nyc.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

Great Geo Guessing Game

GeoGuessr is a cool geography game that uses Google Street View.  The game randomly places you all around the world, and you get points for clicking on the map as close as you can to the place you're viewing.  Sometimes you get lucky and know where you are based on some famous landmark, but very often you have to try to figure it out based on subtle clues in the scenery, roads, signs, people, flora and fauna.  So far, my personal best is just over 13,000 points in one round -- how high can you score?

Genealogy falling, Ancestry rising

About 7 months ago, genealogy blogger James Tanner wrote about Google search trends showing a possible decline in the popularity of genealogy.

Viewing the comments, some people speculated that perhaps people were getting better at doing Google searches by searching directly for people and places in their family history rather than just typing the word "genealogy" into Google. I speculate that is likely true; I also suspect people are using more specialized searches on sites such as rather than just using Google.*

However, another idea occurred to me today, and that is that perhaps the word genealogy itself is falling out of favor for another word: ancestry. I tested that theory on the Google Trends page, at it appears to be true in looking over the past four years:

In fact, sometime in late 2010, the two lines crossed and ancestry became the more popular search term.  This holds true whether looking worldwide or at particular countries. Granted, this isn't definitive proof of the change, nor what may be driving it, but it's encouraging to see that ancestry is alive and kicking.

* Some people are even using specialized Google search tools like my AncestorSearch :)