Recently, an intern working on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team took a sample of nearly 10 million pairs of friends from Facebook’s data warehouse and plotted out their relationships. The result? This intriguingly beautiful image and an accurate map of the world.
Here are the thoughts that Paul shared about the image and its creation:
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.
We’d like to see an image of each individual Facebook user pinpointed on a map and see if it is attractive.