This visualization by Facebook intern Paul Butler illustrates what he calls
the locality of friendship. I was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends. I wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them.
It’s a magnificent effort and scores marks for beauty:
and for the amazing amount of data it carries within it.
Look at how the world of social media breaks down into clusters:
Europe is hard to subdivide:
But Australia and New Zealand are almost three countries:
But of greatest interest to me is my own patch, Southeast Asia:
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are, perhaps unsurprisingly intimately connected:
North vs South
While the links between the southern half of the region and Thailand and Indochina are by comparison quite weak:
Philippines stands alone
But the links between the Philippines and Hong Kong appear as strong as those between the Philippines and the southern half of Southeast Asia:
The other point to take into account is how spread out Facebook is in Southeast Asia. Indonesia is about as densely packed as Italy or England.
Facebook is not a phemenon limited to the country’s major cities (and this is true of the Philippines and Malaysia, of course.)
I’ll be updating my Facebook Asia Pacific data later this week.
(Thanks to the Guardian’s Simon Rogers.)