Friend connections across space and time

NYT Upshot county friend connections Albany County

This is just a screengrab. If you head over to The Upshot, there's an interesting interactive map with sorts of info.

Over at the New York Times, The Upshot has an interesting interactive look at some research into Facebook friend links by place. Basically, the team of researchers tried to figure out how closely counties are connected by these social ties:

The darker the color, the greater the relative likelihood that any two people living in two different counties are connected on Facebook. Counties that are broadly tied to more -- and more distant -- places will color in more of the map. Counties where nearly all ties are very local will look more isolated.

That's a clip of the interactive map above selected for Albany County. A couple quick things that we noticed:

+ It's notable how East Coast-heavy the connections are for the Capital Region core counties -- not just eastern United States, but the actual coastal area. (Though Saratoga County's connections are a bit more widespread nationally.)

+ Maybe you noticed those two counties in Mississippi that stick out as having a relatively high number of connections to Albany County? They're Wayne County and Clarke County. And if you click on Clarke County in the NYT's interactive, Albany County pops up as a highly-connected place for it. The reason, we suspect, is history: Shubuta, Mississippi is in Clarke County. And it was from the Shubuta area that many families made their way from Mississippi to Albany during the Great Migration, first settling in the South End, with some families later moving to the Pine Bush.

There's a whole lot more at The Upshot about some of the patterns that emerged in the research about the effect of things like state lines. And there's even some new fuel for the ongoing "Where is Upstate?" discussion.

Comments

Jefferson County NY has a very different distribution than the surrounding counties, interesting to toggle back and forth. I assume due to the influence of Ft. Drum.

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