Rectangular subdivisions of the world

This map is just plain interesting. It is a map of the world made up of rectangles, each with an equal number of geo-tagged tweets. In other worlds it is a Twitter density map. So, what does the map tell us. What do it relate to? What other type of map might it look the most like? What does it tell us about the various continents? ..even the hemispheres?

This map is more than just interesting. It’s also brilliant. In the FlowingData blog post that pointed me to this Eric Fischer map, Nathan Yau quotes Eric as saying..

The actual motivation behind it, by the way, was to figure out an approximately optimal set of bounding boxes to query for in APIs like Picasa’s, where if you ask for the whole world, you only get a few, very recent, results, but if you query for small enough bounding boxes, you can see further back in time. The idea is to choose bounding boxes with equal frequency so you get approximately the same time period of results from each of them.

I do not clearly understand the logic behind this, but it strikes me as an enginious solution to an ongoing problem of the social world, a dominance of the more densely populated centers of digital concentration.

Blog Post:

Graphic: North America –, Europe –, & the World –

Other Maps by Eric Fischer:

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