Search Atlas: Visualizing Divergent Search Results Across Geopolitical Borders

Rodrigo Ochigame, Katherine Ye
2021 Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021  
The internet is full of invisible borders-geographic, linguistic, cultural, political-that circumscribe the information each user sees. Search engines shape such "information borders" by tailoring results according to geolocation, language, and other user profiling. We present Search Atlas, a tool paired with visualizations that enable users to see and cross these borders. For instance, how do search results for the same query differ for Brazilian, Turkish, and Indian users? Given a query, the
more » ... ool displays multiple lists of Google search results, highlighting distinctive words for each set of parameters. Then, we provide visualizations that juxtapose and cluster Google results across countries, revealing new information borders and regions that can vary widely depending on the query. By exposing the partial perspective of a search engine, Search Atlas invites users to experience the internet from divergent positions and to reflect on how their online lives are conditioned by technological infrastructures and geopolitical regimes.
doi:10.1145/3461778.3462032 fatcat:fqicj4gqarft7byfxts6qfylme