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Created by Paul Butler, an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team, he writes:

“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.”

I really like the way the above was articulated. And what a gorgeous visualization of Facebook’s interactions data. Such a powerful visualization, an example that a picture is truly worth a thousand words. And while the data has been manipulated (meaning it is biased) there is so much good information that can be told from this:

  • High-tech, open regions; such as Europe, USA, India, parts of South America, Israel, Japan and Oceania;
  • High-tech, closed regions, such as China — wow, totally dark; it is pretty sad;
  • Africa overall, still not as connected as the rest of the world due to a combination of isolated regions, and low technology penetration (due to economic and political issues). Same with parts of South America;
  • Low density population regions such as right in the middle of Australia or Alaska or the Amazon;
  • Regions with oppressive and closed governments such as China and Cuba and Iran and close by regions, all dark;
  • Relationships between regions and cities;
  • How human interactions shape the state of the world!

Very cool, exciting stuff…

I would love to see a chart like this one, but from the mobile perspective; to visualize how mobile is driving human connections around the world.

You can read more at Facebook’s Visualizing Friendships.