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In a yearly tradition, Google has just released their yearly Zeitgeist statistics [googlezeitgeist.com], revealing the top 10 fastest-rising global queries, in addition to several other interesting search query statistics from about 48 different countries around the world.

What was represented in 2010 as a world map with some animated bar graphs, and as more minimalistic, let's say functional, line graphs for all previous years, has drastically changed this year, to say the least.

Already labeled by some as "the worst visualisation I've seen this year", the 2011 version presents the data as an isometric bar graph landscape. The quite dramatically transparent bar graphs represent of 12-weeks worth of statistical information, for a top-10 ranking. In other words, the north-east axis acts an interactive timeline comprising of 1 year, whereas the non-interactive, north-west axis sets apart the different ranking attributes. Users can select and compare up to 2 unique rankings, and select a specific 3-month period for further perusal and rough estimations.

See also Google Zeitgeist 2010.