The map, created by Facebook intern Paul Butler, is based upon the localities of friendships within the social network:
"I began by taking a sample of about ten million pairs of friends from Apache Hive, our data warehouse. 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."
More of his methodology here.
"After a few minutes of rendering, the new plot appeared, and I was a bit taken aback by what I saw. The blob had turned into a surprisingly detailed map of the world. Not only were continents visible, certain international borders were apparent as well. What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn't represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life. Later I replaced the lines with great circle arcs, which are the shortest routes between two points on the Earth. Because the Earth is a sphere, these are often not straight lines on the projection. When I shared the image with others within Facebook, it resonated with many people. It's not just a pretty picture, it's a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders."
Click map to enlarge. High-res version here.
What movies best represent certain states? (via Reddit, where debate rages). Click to enlarge.
A group of researchers has attempted to visualize the mood of the nation over a 24-hour period using a cartogram mash-up of tweets and population data in Pulse of the Nation.
"Not only did they analyze the sentiments we collectively expressed in 300 million tweets over three years against a scholarly word list; these researchers also mashed up that data with information from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Google Maps API and more. What they ended up with was a fascinating visualization showing the pulse of our nation, our very moods as they fluctuate over time. The researchers have put this information into density-preserving cartograms, maps that take the volume of tweets into account when representing the land area. In other words, in areas where there are more tweets, those spots on the map will appear larger than they do in real life."
Check out their time-lapse visualization over a 1 day period, cycled twice, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's an interesting graphic for you map and data lovers, based on geotagging Flickr data:
"Blue points on the map are pictures taken by locals (people who have taken pictures in this city dated over a range of a month or more). Red points are pictures taken by tourists (people who seem to be a local of a different city and who took pictures in this city for less than a month). Yellow points are pictures where it can't be determined whether or not the photographer was a tourist (because they haven't taken pictures anywhere for over a month). They are probably tourists but might just not post many pictures at all."
There's a whole set of them for various cities.
In related news, flashmob group Improv Everywhere recently busted out NYC sidewalk lanes for locals and tourists, AFTER THE JUMP...
Here's an interesting look at the size of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in comparison with various metropolitan areas. A Google Earth API has been jiggered to layer a current image of the spill so its scope can be compared to places with which you might be familiar.
In related news, efforts to cap the leak in the Gulf failed over the weekend: "After the cofferdam was lowered onto the leak site, a slurry of methane crystals formed on the inside of the dome’s surface, making it bouyant and clogging the outtake at the dome’s roof. The giant box has been moved 200 meters from the disaster site, and is sitting on the sea bed. BP had anticipated that methane hydrates could form within the pipework from the dome to the surface, but not within the dome itself, especially at such a rapid rate."