Data Visualization Google Music Timeline

Published on January 17th, 2014 | by Travis Korte


The Ebb and Flow of Music Taste

Google’s Big Picture research group has released the Music Timeline, an interactive visualization that tracks the population of different music genres since 1950. The visualization traces the ebb and flow of popular music tastes, from jazz giving way to rock in the early 1960s to the rise of hip hop and electronic music in the last decade. Users can also track the prominence of individual artists over time, revealing insights such as the fact that Jay-Z’s two decades of popularity were interrupted by a slow period in the mid-2000s.

The data is heavily normalized, since much more music is published today than in earlier decades, but even with the adjustments it is easy to pick out trends. The data is based on how many Google Play music users have an artist or album in their music library.

Take a look.

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About the Author

Travis Korte is a research analyst at the Center for Data Innovation specializing in data science applications and open data. He has a background in journalism, computer science and statistics. Prior to joining the Center for Data Innovation, he launched the Science vertical of The Huffington Post and served as its Associate Editor, covering a wide range of science and technology topics. He has worked on data science projects with HuffPost and other organizations. Before this, he graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Berkeley, having studied critical theory and completed coursework in computer science and economics. His research interests are in computational social science and using data to engage with complex social systems. You can follow him on Twitter @traviskorte.

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