A Facebook intern named Paul Butler has designed a map of the world as definite not by the cities, continents, countries or borders but by Facebook friends. Butler says over the official Facebook blog that he used a massive amount of sample material from Facebook’s data warehouse to create the map of the world.
He said, “I combined that data with each user’s current city and summed the number of friends between each pair of cities. Then I merged the data with the longitude and latitude of each city.” And then a used a number of technical terms hard to understand including, “weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them.” And finally we all got a map of the world, Facebook-style.
Delighted by his achievement, Butler said, “What really struck me knowing that the lines didn’t represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life…. It’s not just a pretty picture, it’s a reaffirmation of the impact we have in connecting people, even across oceans and borders.”
Facebook is growing more and more showing no signs of slowing down the pace.