Google has made available its 2012 Zeitgeist website
, where you can explore the most popular and hottest trending search terms from around the world. Whitney Houston, Hurricane SandyAmong the top search queries , iPad 3
Samsung Galaxy S3 and #SOPA are among the top queries for 2012.
This year's site features a total of 838 lists from 55 countries. Google has also dded a number of new features, including an interactive map that shows where and when some of the hottest terms spiked around the world, and a Google Zeitgeist Android app coming out later today (with an iOS version coming soon too).
Global superstar Whitney Houston topped many countries? lists as well as three of Google's overall trending lists - her unexpected death surprising fans around the world. From Korea, YouTube sensation PSY's "Gangnam Style" signature dance took the world by storm, landing him the #1 spot in many countries and making his song the second most trending query of 2012.
Then there was Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner and his epic free fall jump, which made him the #6 globally trending person of the year, while the 2012 Olympics and its various athletes made it into almost every country?s top trends. And NBA player Jeremy Lin also rose on the charts this year, making him the #1 trending athlete globally.
People researched a breadth of other topics, too. Web users took a serious interest in threats to the open Internet, with proposals like SOPA and ACTA both finding their way to the top of many countries' lists. The U.S. elections brought attention to the candidates and issues, not least the presidential campaigns' most notorious political gaffes. And while it might not be surprising to see that tragic natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy ranked highly (#3 on the global trending list), it is reassuring to find searches like [donate to Sandy] spiking as well.