Eric Fischer, a data artist and software developer at Mapbox, has way too much time on his hands, and we have that to thank for one of the most glorious maps ever created. A visual compilation of the location of 6,341,973,478 global tweets from the last three and a half years, the product is nothing short of mesmerizing. As a whole, the map is a beautiful expression of just how much we overshare with the world. Zooming in on Atlanta, it's fun to see where the most tweets come from. Patterns quickly emerge, and the densest tweeting locations tell us a lot about what Atlantans spend their time doing and sharing. But what does it really say about us?
Taking a look at the map from the scale of the United States, one thing is abundantly clear. Atlantans tweet a lot. Much like a map of the country at night, the major cities shine bright, indicating a high concentration of tweets. The sprawling metropolitan area of Atlanta can be seen aglow, as we share our thoughts 140 characters at a time.
Zoom in a bit to the Southeast, and there is no doubt that Atlanta is the capital of this new technological South. While many cities and towns are clearly visible as concentrations of green specs, the sheer size of the Atlanta splotch as it leaches out across the dark map indicates total Twitter dominance. Another interesting trend to pick up on regionally is the concentration of tweets in even relatively small college towns. It should maybe come as no surprise that college-age kids and SEC football fans help put places like Tuscaloosa and Knoxville on the map.
Once down at the metro Atlanta level, you can begin to see what neighborhoods are often atwitter. Not surprisingly, the highest concentrations of tweets come from the largest population centers in the metro. Additionally, Hartsfield-Jackson is a place people like to share from — #IlovetheTSA. By far the most disconcerting information from the map is how legible the city's distinctive highway system is. The Perimeter, the Connector, Interstate 20 and Ga. Highway 400 are all greener than a broccoli-eating leprechaun on St. Patrick's Day. The bright green lines of the roads beg the question: Why the hell are so many Atlantans tweeting while driving? (Everyone knows that most local commuters drive solo, so don't blame it on tweet-happy passengers). All of this might explain our reputation for being such bad drivers; it's getting in the way of our tweeting.
Finally, zooming in to specific neighborhoods in the city, concentrations of green indicate the specific attractions where people like to share from. Not surprisingly, in downtown, two of the hottest spots for social sharing are Turner Field and the Georgia Dome. Popular nightlife spots like East Atlanta and Little Five Points also shine bright. Even specific gathering places are discernible from the data, with Six Feet Under and neighboring establishments lighting up Memorial Drive across from (appropriately) dark Oakland Cemetery.
Perhaps most surprising of all, the Clermont Lounge isn't greenly blinding the rest of the city like the smutty oracle that it is.
· Making the most detailed tweet map ever [Mapbox]