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Oct 26

Visualizing Connections

by Patrick • October 26, 2011

People Search, Tech Watch

In a time of rapid change and exponential technological growth, it’s always good to take a step back and look at some pretty graphs and pie charts (mmm….pie charts). Nobody does pretty graphs and charts better than FlowingData, a great “data visualization” blog that specializes in unique and interesting infographics.

We here at Spokeo People Search know the value of a pretty infographic, dealing as we do with an overwhelming mass of people-related data, and so I quite liked FlowingData’s recent post about an installation that projects Facebook connections between people on to the floor beneath them.  According to the creators of the installation, “colored lines extend from the circles connecting people who share one or more of the observed metrics (mutual friends, interests, workplaces, schools, locations, birth sign, or non-English languages). When two or more people, who have mutual connections, stand within close proximity, a slideshow of mutual friends and interests appear between them.”

Spokeo Facebook Connections Installation

It’s fun to think about meeting a total stranger – maybe even a stranger from the other side of the world – inside this installation and instantly seeing the connections between you inside that vaguely Kabbalistic web. Do you like the same movie? Have the same birthdate? Do you have a friend in common? If not, how many degrees separate you? (Most likely around 6 at the most).

The Facebook installation is a wonderful and creative way to visualize our increasing interconnectedness. While Spokeo isn’t a social network, we are still very much committed to the idea that our people technology has a vital part to play in this incredibly shrinking world (after all, it’s in our name). We use sophisticated data algorithms to help people make connections; our name search, reverse phone search, reverse email search and username search capabilities are designed to bridge gaps between people – family, friends and yes, strangers.

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