In a beautiful infographic, self-professed “geek of maps” Eric Fischer (@ENF) has created a complex web of the language of tweets.
Showing each language in a different color, Fischer has mapped which language is tweeted where on a glow-in-the-dark style map of the world. Check it out below.
Fischer used data from the Twitter API between May 14 and October 20, 2011 to map the languages of Twitter.
He notes that many of the languages will share a similar color on the map’s legend, but that he was aiming for easily distinguishable language clusters within close proximity to one another (so you could easily tell the difference between Spanish and Catalan for instance), rather than globally.
It is great fun to see where tweets are sent from, and in what language, using this map. For instance, Canada appears almost non-existent, because the majority of our population (tweeting and non-tweeting) lives within a few kilometers of the US border. Our North is under populated, and thus does not really appear on the map.
This infographic really deserves some in-depth exploration. Zoom in to the image below, and scroll around the map a bit. If you’re anything of a data geek, you’ll get sucked into the beauty of the information presented here, the complex webs of tweeting language scattered across the Earth.