2.15.2010

US Facebook Map - Pete Warden

http://petewarden.typepad.com/searchbrowser/2010/02/how-to-split-up-the-us.html
US Facebook Map by Pete Warden - petewarden.typepad.com
As I[Pete Warden]'ve been digging deeper into the data I[P.W.]'ve gathered on 210 million public Facebook profiles, I[P.W.]'ve been fascinated by some of the patterns that have emerged. My latest visualization shows the information by location, with connections drawn between places that share friends. For example, a lot of people in LA have friends in San Francisco, so there's a line between them.
Looking at the network of US cities, it's been remarkable to see how groups of them form clusters, with strong connections locally but few contacts outside the cluster. For example Columbus, OH and Charleston, WV are nearby as the crow flies, but share few connections, with Columbus clearly part of the North, and Charleston tied to the South:
Columbus, OH - petewarden.typepad.com Charleston, WV - petewarden.typepad.com

Some of these clusters are intuitive, like the old south, but there's some surprises too, like Missouri, Louisiana and Arkansas having closer ties to Texas than Georgia. To make sense of the patterns I'm seeing, I've marked and labeled the clusters, and added some notes about the properties they have in common.

Stayathomia
Stretching from New York to Minnesota, this belt's defining feature is how near most people are to their friends, implying they don't move far.
Dixie
Like Stayathomia, Dixie towns tend to have links mostly to other nearby cities rather than spanning the country.
Greater Texas
Orbiting around Dallas, the ties of the Gulf Coast towns and Oklahoma and Arkansas make them look more Texan than Southern.
Mormonia
The only region that's completely surrounded by another cluster, Mormonia mostly consists of Utah towns that are highly connected to each other, with an offshoot in Eastern Idaho.
Nomadic West
The defining feature of this area is how likely even small towns are to be strongly connected to distant cities, it looks like the inhabitants have done a lot of moving around the country.
Boise, ID - petewarden.typepad.com Bend, OR - petewarden.typepad.com
Phoenix, AZ - petewarden.typepad.com
Socalistan
Californians outside the super-cities tend to be most connected to other Californians, making almost as tight a cluster as Greater Texas.
Pacifica
Tightly connected to each other, it doesn't look like Washingtonians are big travelers compared to the rest of the West.
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