Monday, February 25, 2013

NYC twitter map of languages

This GIS/social media relationship rocks my socks off. Researchers at recently turned 8.5 million tweets into an interactive map of languages in NYC. As they explain:
You can walk the streets of New York City and hear a veritable babel of languages. It’s estimated that as many as 800 languages are spoken around the city. A new mapping project takes a look at which ones are the most spoken on social media.
Five percent of tweets were in languages other than English, with Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Italian, and French Creole topping the list. These are not the same top languages spoken by New Yorkers, respectively, which raises the interesting question of why not? Are some NYC language groups less inclined to use Twitter? Can the discrepancy be explained by exogenous factors like poverty or internet access? Or does everyone just tweet in English?

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