Facebook intern, Paul Butler, created a map of the world by sampling data from the social network’s 500 million user base to see how political borders affect friendships around the globe. It is evident on the map that China, Russia and central Africa has little presence on Facebook.
Visualizing data is like photography. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you manipulate the lens used to present the data from a certain angle… When the data is the social graph of 500 million people, there are a lot of lenses through which you can view it. One that piqued my curiosity was 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