FREE SHIPPING SALE - All T-Shirt Orders Get Free Worldwide Shipping
That's right: free shipping whether you're in the USA or anywhere else in the world!

Map of Facebook Friendships



Paul Butler, and intern at Facebook, created this map of the world using ten millions online friendships:

I combined that data with each user's current city and summed the number of friends between each pair of cities. Then I merged the data with the longitude and latitude of each city.

At that point, I began exploring it in R, an open-source statistics environment. As a sanity check, I plotted points at some of the latitude and longitude coordinates. To my relief, what I saw was roughly an outline of the world. Next I erased the dots and plotted lines between the points. After a few minutes of rendering, a big white blob appeared in the center of the map. Some of the outer edges of the blob vaguely resembled the continents, but it was clear that I had too much data to get interesting results just by drawing lines. I thought that making the lines semi-transparent would do the trick, but I quickly realized that my graphing environment couldn't handle enough shades of color for it to work the way I wanted.

Instead I found a way to simulate the effect I wanted. I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line's color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.


Link via Gizmodo

Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

thanks for this post- a very interesting map. I'm surprised at how much of Asia (specifically the less developed parts) and Eastern Europe are.
I hope someone is making a t-shirt out of this!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Interesting. Just yesterday I was trying to picture a map like this, but somehow excluding all the "game only" friends. I'm "friends" with a couple hundred people around the world for the sole purpose of playing a specific facebook game, and that shouldn't really count as a real connection. I'm more curious how connected people really are.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Om Nom - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"Map of Facebook Friendships"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window