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Canada Mapped

What Google thinks of Canada

Google's autocomplete feature says a lot about Canadians and where they live.
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Greg J. Smith, January 14, 2014 11:23:02 AM

Given their dominance over most of the World’s search traffic, it is safe to say that Google is sitting on a lot of data. What search queries do people run on the citizens of Canadian cities and provinces? We decided to do a little research into various Google autocompletes and map our results. Here is what we found:

For cities, the rule of thumb seems to be the good, the bad and the boring. A few Canadian cities have some favourable autocompletes. Victoria is ‘awesome’ and ‘wunderbar’, Edmonton is ‘awesome’, and Vancouverites are ‘awesome’ as well—that’s it for praise. Negative comments abound about the citizens of some of the country’s larger cities. Vancouverites are ‘snobs’ and ‘rude’, Calgarians are ‘rednecks’ and ‘smug jerks’, Torontonians are ‘stuck up’ and ‘so effing stupid’, Montrealers are ‘rude’ and ‘snobby’. There are some less than glowing autocompletes for a few other cities: Edmonton is ‘cold’, ‘dirty’ and ‘depressing’ (ouch!), Regina and Winnipeg are both ‘a dump’. Finally there seems to be a real preoccupation with which cities are ‘boring’: that word shows up in autocompletes for Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Halifax.

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If you zoom in all the way you can see the autocompletes related to the various provinces—these are interesting as well. Albertans are ‘racists’ and ‘smug’, people wonder what time zone Saskatchewan and Manitoba are in. Ontarians are ‘rude’ and there seems to be a regular searches asking if the province is falling behind—we detect a a competitive streak! People ask Google if Quebecers are ‘better’ but also if they are ‘racist’ and ‘snobs’. Search queries suggest people inquire if Newfoundlanders are ‘friendly’, ‘not friendly’ and ‘dumb’. Finally, people ask if New Brunswick is ‘a failing province’ and if Nunavut is an ‘outdated idea’.

This is just a quick recap of some of our findings, poke around the map yourself to reveal more. It’s important to note that Googles autocompletes are always changing (and tied to personal search history), so you might not be able to reproduce these results on your own—or at some point in the future. So there you have it, a glimpse into what the masses type into the search box when they are looking up citizens, provinces and cities across our country.

Image: Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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