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Thursday, December 23, 2010

A friendship map of the world

click to enlarge (and see the Kiwis!)

Paul, a Facebook intern on their data infrastructure engineering team (whose no doubt has very proud parents), made a brilliant map of the geographic connections between ten million randomly chosen pairs of facebook friends.  From the near perfect outlines of many countries you can see the concentrations of populations along coastlines.  You can also see the black hole of China.  From Paul:

"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."

I was recently friended by an old acquaintance from Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere, now coming on-line.  How sweet it would be if that was one of the lines.....