Tweets and Photos Shape the World

Fast Company’s Co.Design blog has some amazing new illustrations by photographer Eric Fischer that track the location attached to every recent tweet and Flickr photo (with Twitter use shown in blue and Flickr use shown in orange).

You don’t have to be a mapping geek to see the appeal in these pictures  – they instantly convey intuitively understood differences. For instance, Flickr images are more numerous and more widely dispersed geographically than tweets, which makes sense as it’s been around longer and is used in millions of little places where new-fangled 140-character media haven’t yet caught on.

For me, the most fascinating aspect of Fischer’s work is that he starts with a data set of human sharing (because that’s what both Flickr and Twitter enable), and when he plugs the data into a plotting program, the result is a synthetic view of the world – a map that closes matches physical geography.