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So how many friends do you have on Facebook and where are they?  Well if you have ever wondered where other people’s FB friends are – and don’t say you haven’t – then this is for you!

The screen dump above is from Facebook Stories and shows the America page of a fascinating time waster.  It was invented by one Mia Newman, an International Relations graduate from Stanford, working with Stamen a studio in San Francisco that specialise in daft maps like this!

The idea is simple, they have reduced the FB friendship connections everyone in a country has, by the country of the friend, and plotted it.

So….once you go to the page you will see a graphic of friends of people in the States.  So far so expected.  Now choose say the UK on the right it is numbered “4”.  Touch this and watch what happens.  The graphic lurches into life and changes, showing where Brits have their friends.  No surprises perhaps but it’s in Ireland and Australia etc.  The old empires still hold strong in blood, connections, education and trade.  Interesting snippits of information appear in a box at the bottom of the map each time.

Keep choosing different countries and the graphic wobbles into a new group of connections giving different friendship sets for various countries.  I liked Germany and Gambia.

Unmitigated by governments or interest groups, like the Eurovision map I had earlier, this shows the real cultural connections of countries.  Immigration counts of course as we can see with Poles in Ireland, but why is Democratic Republic of Congo so close to Ecuador?  Or indeed Kazakhstan?

Then try resetting by language.  Deep joy.

And I bet you spend the whole of your lunchtime on it too!

Copyright David Macadam 2012