12 October 2008

B. Geldof vs. Bono vs. FAO vs. Greenpeace vs. H. Kohl vs. Hu J. vs. HRW vs. I. Betancourt vs. K. Kelly vs. M. Ahtisaari vs. M. Tsvangirai vs. Others

Finnish former prime minister and international conflict mediator Martti Ahtisaari has won this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Congratulations! Using Google Insights for Search, I traced the popularity of the most commonly rumored nominees for this prestigious prize during the last 12 months. I experimented with a new format. I downloaded the real, unstandardized number sequences for a large number of nominees and then selected out the 16 with the highest average score. These were then represented as colored bands in a normalized, stacked area diagram:

Notice that Ahtisaari was not exactly the most popular. That role was assigned to rock band U2's musician and activist Bono. Next came Human Rights Watch (HRW), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Greenpeace. The only other rumored nominee with decent Google-popularity was peace activist Kathy Kelly.


  1. Great work, nice visualization! I guess most of the Ahtisaari-related searches were connected to the Kosovo peace plan that he put together.

  2. I regret that the much neglected language, Esperanto did not receive the Nobel Peace Prize. At least nine British MP's nominated this global language, for the Prize.

    Within a short period of 121 years Esperanto is now placed within the top 100 languages, out of 6,000 worldwide according to the CIA factbook. It is the 17th most used language by Wikipedia, and it is in active use by Facebook and Skype.

    Solid arguments for Esperanto can be seen on the Youtube video, by Professor Piron, a former translator at the United Nations.

    If you have time please check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LV9XU