World travel and communications recorded on Twitter

Green is physical movement from place to place; purple is @replies from someone in one location to someone in another; combining to white where there is both.


Reported trips to Null Island excluded; all other geotags trusted. Endpoints of trips are real data; routes in between are fabricated. Brightness is logarithmic.


Data from the Twitter streaming API through September 1, 2011. Continent shapes from Natural Earth.

  • ♫ Lion ♫ 3y

    There are routes to antarctica too :)
  • Eric Fischer 3y

    Yeah, anything going to Antarctica is probably bogus, and so, probably, are many other trips, but I don't know how to tell which ones.

    Indonesia really does represent a huge fraction of Twitter usage. I don't know the history behind how that came to be.
  • Prentis T. (Tom) Keener, Jr. 3y

    Quite a business in petroleum and manufacturing in Indonesia?
  • bior 3y

    The most evident green lines are clustered around Japan and Alaska... not sure what to make of that
  • Eric Fischer 3y

    Whatever is going on off the east coast of Japan is definitely strange. Lots of people on boats? Or errors in the data? Could be confusion between Tokyo Datum and WGS84 coordinates.
  • binx 3y

    Just some anecdotal evidence - I have a friend who works in Antartica about 2/3 of the year, and she definitely keeps in touch with her friends on twitter.

    Great map! :D
  • Eric Fischer 3y

    Thanks! Maybe they are real after all. I should read through some of the tweets from Antarctica and see how plausible they seem.
  • Eric Fischer 3y

    Kind of interesting to see what is the same and different in this Global Transportation System map.
  • binx 3y

    Mm, nice comparison. I like the super hub/spoke road system in the middle of Brazil.
  • bfbraum 3y

    This is really awesome. Thank you. One question: I see an end date (September 1, 2011) but not a start date; what's the timeframe for these data streams?
  • Eric Fischer 3y

    Sorry. The start is May 17.
  • chaziramibu 3y

    I'm Indonesian and live in java, Indonesian people are love to talk and chat whenever and wherever because we always want to keep in touch with others, it's our culture to maintain connection between persons, so the social media is like matches threw into a sea of gasoline, it fires up the habits and made us love to talk more and more than before...

    P.S : sorry for the bad english...:)
  • Jaf's Flickr 3y

    Hi Eric, what an awesome map you have here.
    As for Indonesia, it must be the population: approximately 270 million this year. That along with variety of ridiculously cheap flat access to mobile data I guess is the answer. Infact I did a "tweet interview" for an article a few days ago, and one of my sources said that she preferred tweeting to sms. Why? Cause each sms cost money :D There you go :p I'm Indonesian btw :D
  • farissshafee II 3y

  • Eric Fischer 3y

    Thanks for the background on how and why Twitter is used so much in Indonesia!
  • Tony Watkins 2mo

    Great visualisation. I've sued it, with attribution as the featured image on Thanks for using a Creative Commons licence!
  • Bindu&Sudhir 2mo

    What a fantastic idea.. Can you refresh the data and rebuild this for 2015? I bet the lines are more intense now..Globally, we probably added a billion new smartphones since 2012.
  • Ub66 2mo

    cool idea
  • Michael Patrick 2mo

    Congratulations on the Flickr Blog feature.
  • qwertyberty45 2mo


    Bindu&Sudhir Yes that would be good.
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