Sunday, February 13, 2011

Facebook Friend Map in Social Studies

A colleague recently sent me a link to this article about how a Facebook intern mapped out the relationships of ten million pairs of friends.  My first reaction was to note its beauty.  But then I started thinking about how it might be used in a Geography or other social studies class.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="550" caption="Facebook Friend Visualization Map"]Facebook Friend Visualization Map[/caption]

There are actually quite a few things you can learn about geography, population and even politics from looking at this. Depending on the age of your students, you could put this image in front of them and have them come up with observations and/or questions for further exploration.  Or, maybe you have to give them some prompts such as: What does this image tell us about the geography of Canada or Australia? Where did China go? etc.  I'm sure there are plenty of educational uses for this image that I'm not thinking of.  If you have an idea, please share your thoughts in a comment on this post.  For a larger-than-full-screen view check out this post on Gizmodo, and for more about the process and data visualization check out this page on Facebook.