It's easy to forget how difficult DIY repairs were just a couple of decades ago, considering how easy the internet makes it to fix very specific product problems. (My biggest personal victory was fixing a 50-inch LG plasma display that borked a week after the warranty expired, following some extensive Googling.) Now, Google has created a site that shows exactly what you want to fix, do and learn the most, based on where you live.
The need to to fix windows, walls and doors topped lists everywhere, so the team threw out those results to focus on regional patterns. The results? "North Americans and East Asians need their toilets, people in former Soviet countries are fearless enough to attempt fixing their own washing machines, [and] warmer climates can't live without a fridge," interactive visual journalist Xaquin G.V. writes.
Other top searches revolve around cooking, dating, money, dressing and health. For instance, many folks want to know how to boil an egg (maybe we're becoming too reliant on Google), impress a girl, write a check, tie a bow-tie, pick a lock, lose weight, gain weight and get rid of pimples.
Other items, like cooking asparagus, asking someone to the prom and losing weight tend to be seasonal, Google says. Others are viral, peaking and declining over a short period, with subjects like how to make slime and loom-bands.
The data was culled from searches by users on "How To" do and fix things, one of the most common terms used on Google. The site itself was created by Google's News Lab, working in conjunction with Xaquin. It has a rich, responsive design and works well on mobile, a priority for Google Labs experiments, Data Editor Simon Rogers told Techcrunch. The lab, Rogers said, is particularly interested in experimenting with data journalism as a way to tell or summarize interesting stories in new ways.