There is something very intriguing about this recent visualisation created by Mia Newman entitled: Mapping the World’s Friendships. It has a number of compelling features:
- the visualisation design is particularly well-crafted – colours chosen, faded map features – all of which make the data front and centre;
- the interactive ability to choose the country I am interested in and through a fluid transition see the ‘friends’ of residents of that country.
There may be limitations to what can be readily deduced from the displayed relationships, it is based entirely on Facebook data and on the complete social graphs of the those with publicly available data. It isn’t demonstrating official relationships, financial or economic relationships, it the newly emerging social engagement encouraged by social media. The challenge that is posed by using Facebook as the sole source of social data will tend to privilege certain demographics based on cultural and political adoption of Facebook as a social media.
Nonetheless, it is a fun visualisation and remains compelling. What do you think?