Facebook Data Team Brings Check-Ins To Life

By David Cohen 

The Facebook Data team used Java-based open-source language Processing to create four visualizations illustrating how the social network’s members are using its location feature.

From a note on the Facebook Data page:

Ages of People Checking In Around the World: This is one day of check-ins that has been plotted so that each pixel is colored if there are at least three check-ins in that pixel. The color ranges from green to blue, representing the average age of users in that pixel. The midpoint between the two colors lies at the global median, so about one-half of the map is blue and one-half is green. Countries with more early adopter types tend to be blue, while more established regions are green.

New York City Check-Ins: This map illustrates several days’ worth of check-ins during working hours in New York City. You can see the density of certain areas like Midtown and the Wall Street area, where people are checking into offices and local businesses, while there is less activity in residential areas.

Check-Ins by Political Affiliation: This map breaks down check-ins in the United States based on whether the majority of users affiliate with the Democrat (blue) or Republican (red) parties on Facebook. This gives a very fine grained view of the political map beyond a common red/blue state, or even county level, analysis.

Vacations and Travel: This map represents a year-to-date view of Facebook users checking into two distinct areas of the world. As a proxy for plane travel, certain restrictions were placed on the distance and time between the two locations. The result was more informative than simply illustrating airport check-ins and demonstrates interesting insights, such as common long-haul travel routes, with a clear concentration between Europe and North America.