A Decade Of Fear

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

What would a timeline of the world’s greatest fears look like? Like this.

A spiced up, interactive version of Mountains Out Of Molehills. Now sporting filters, click-throughs to the data and a ‘scale by deaths’ button. Just like Bond villains have.

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  • Eric

    Very Interesting.
    Why “Terrorism” is not in the infographic ? Should be very interesting… !

  • Chris

    Excellent, what it may miss is the “Fear Floor” has been rising since the ’90s. Would also be interesting to see fears normalized for realization. I would suspect the meta picture would be we fear too much and the wrong things.

  • Billy Wenge-Murphy

    People stopped worrying about Y2K after Y2K? Amazing!

    I’d love to see some data from the 90s.

  • Brandon Rector

    No terrorism?

  • skin care

    This is very true. This graph shows a complete visualization about the graph of the world’s threat. This year according to Mayan’s calender, is very crucial as we need to find some desperate steps towards the saving the world resources.

  • Paul DeBenedetto

    This is great, but how did you get data going back to 2000? The Insights data appears to only go as far as 2004.

  • Giordano

    Autism and vaccination? really? Putting that false association in this beautiful infograph is plain wrong.

  • KAS

    What, no shark attacks?

  • Will

    Interesting to see the yearly trend with “violent videogames” – peak shortly before Christmas, another peak in April, and a lull over the summer. Does the media pick the same stories every year? People playing outside in the summer, not indoors?

    • Andy

      I saw the same thing. Media coverage of “violent videogames” correlates almost exactly to the American school calendar.

  • giuppi

    Considering the source is Google Insights which represents recurrence of words in searches, it should probably say “English speaking countries’ greatest fears”.

  • Eric

    Nice work. You also post the following note;

    “Note: While Swine Flu is the cause of at least 18,000 deaths worldwide (source), seasonal flu has killed an estimated 375,000 in the same period. (source) ”

    However, weren’t you a proponent of the Swine Flu vaccine at the time?

  • jml

    It’d be lovely to get some data elements covering terrorism onto this graphic set.

    Very nice work.

  • Maerlana

    What? No terrorism? But the terrorists are planning to poison salad bars in the United States. I’d say terrorists are fear worthy from 2001 – today.

  • Horus Kol

    Interesting graph – and interesting to see how cyclic some of these molehills are.

    However, I wonder if it wouldn’t hurt to apply some context by including some real killer issues. Issues like child poverty; famine; HIV/AIDS; malaria? I bet that their trends don’t come close to representing how much of an issue they really are.

  • Brother Grimm

    Terrorism is noticeably absent…

  • Michael White

    What about terrorism?

  • Duffadash

    How about terrorism? Personally I consider that to be the biggest scare of the previous decade.

  • TheMu

    Beautiful as always !

    I’m wondering if we can remove a bias in google insight : a patern is always there, low intensity in holydays, and high the rest of the year… can we standardize the datas and how ?


    [i]PS : Hum… sorry, I speak a very bad english… i’m french ;) [/i]

  • German

    Nice work! Still, you missed one of the tops: “Weapons of mass destruction”

  • A Reader

    Terrorism really needs to be on this chart. It is not complete without it.

    Your blurb about Austim seems out of place- data from the vaccination compensation fund in each of the respective countries that have set them up negates your statement.

  • Sarah

    Have you considered making the flash graph open sourced, or even allowing it to import another data set? I’d like to see how this beautiful chart works on different data and different metrics.

  • cinesimon

    Certainly a nice idea, but really a bare cupboard: no ‘Islam’? ‘Terrorism’? ‘Socialism’? ‘WMD’?
    And certainly I agree a graphic comparing fear generated/advocated vs realized would be very interesting indeed.

  • Albert

    Any way to see the number of death people by car accidents? that will probably make the other figures just invisible when represented by number of deaths

  • Walter Vannini

    Great idea and awesome *art*, but this should be INFOgraphics, right? So where are the units on axis Y?
    Infographics – units = art. (not that art is bad, it’s just not information).

    Keep up the good work!

  • Brian Williams

    Where the Global Cooling / Global Warming / Climate Disruption scare then?

  • Cam Cope

    What about the hadron collider!?

  • Ingrid Potter

    I can’t help but feel that this graph is presented in a misleading manner. Due to the number of fears being tracked in a 3-dimensional graph, the gap from the blue fear to the pink fear generates a 1 inch gap of white space which forces the viewer to look at the graph in a way that the points plotted further away from the axis have much higher reported numbers than is actually the case.

    I detest these kinds of graphs, I think that the way they’re presented tends to do nothing more than manipulate the minds of the public that still read a 3 dimensional graph like a 2 dimensional graph.

  • Sandor Heder

    Nice graph! What does it show? Media is more and more effective!

  • dissertation help

    Media is more and more effective!

  • Teresa Larsen

    Love your work!
    Unfortunately, this interactive visualization is inaccessible on my iPad. Wah!

  • Greg Narayan

    What about ANTHRAX????