Paul Butler over at Facebook just coded an interesting visualization of the strength of connections between a sample size of users living in cities across 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.
#1 - Bravo.
#2 - What struck me are the geopolitical implications, particularly: How does this map of connections speak to the value of cross-border communications in certain communities that on the surface seem to use Facebook very little? In China, the exit point seems to be Hong Kong (or Shenzhen?) to Taiwan. In Iran, connection to the outside world happens via the Persian Gulf — and it’s interesting that the signal fades near the Turkish border.