urbanter

Student blog of the Stanford University Urban Studies Department

San Francisco’s Population in Real Time


In early 2011, The Wall Street Journal partnered with the geolocating company, Foursquare, to track every user’s check-ins for a week in both New York City and San Francisco.  They then compared where users checked in most (and by type, gender, etc.).

I couldn’t get over the cool slideshow they created with hourly data–San Francisco’s is above.  If we set aside the fact that these data are skewed to a certain segment of the population (namely a young, technologically savvy demographic), it’s incredible to see where the population goes at which hours of the day, and to watch the city slumber each night and awaken each day.  There’s a wonderous quality that comes with being unable to disaggregate the city into its individual organisms and seeing it (as a whole) as a singluar organism.

I wonder how the map would differ one year later.  Or five, ten, twenty years from now.

 

You can see both New York’s and San Francisco’s heat maps here, along with comparative statistics for each city.

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