Developed by Facebook intern Paul Butler this visualization maps the connections of 10 million Facebook users spread across the globe. Butler took a sample of 10 million pairs of friends from Facebook's Apache Hive database, Facebook's warehouse containing the social graph of 500 million people, and matched them with the corresponding coordinates of each city, connecting them with blue lines.
As Butler explains: "Visualizing data is like photography. Instead of starting with a blank canvas, you manipulate the lens used to present the data from a certain angle. (...) What really struck me, though, was knowing that the lines didn't represent coasts or rivers or political borders, but real human relationships. Each line might represent a friendship made while travelling, a family member abroad, or an old college friend pulled away by the various forces of life."