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MIT Senseable Lab developed an alternative map of Great Britain that reveals the connections between its inhabitants based on 12 billion anonymized landline calls. Where people spoke frequently and for extended periods, they were treated as having a stronger connection.

The resulting map shows that people tend to communicate most with people that are located geographically closeby. Based on this insight, a new map of Great Britain was created by determining regional borders which cut through the fewest number of connections as possible. This partitioning algorithm resulted into geographically cohesive regions that correspond remarkably well with administrative regions, while unveiling some unexpected spatial structures that had previously only been hypothesized in literature. For instance, while London is still clearly discernable, Wales and the West Midlands are merged.

Watch a short documentary movie below.

More information at BBC News or at MIT.

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1 COMMENT

As someone interested in regional development and datavis this is fascinating. It's such a shame they have moved Manchester into Yorkshire!

Fri 10 Dec 2010 at 7:48 PM
Jon
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