Few weeks ago we saw an image made by Paul Butler (an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team) showing the volume of friendships between particular parts of the world. He was interested in seeing how geography and political borders affected where people lived relative to their friends. He wanted a visualization that would show which cities had a lot of friendships between them.
It had a lot of media coverage and the creator received a lot of comments many asking for more details on how he had created it. Later that week Paul wrote a post explaining that the graph was made entirely with about 150 lines of GNU R code with no external dependencies.
The truth is that the image is impressive and a testament to the scope of this open-source statistics tool that we saw in one of the first sessions of Case Estudies I.