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PORTLAND, OR, United States – Here in the US, people move around constantly. Whether it’s to go to school, moving for work or fleeing an annoying family member, citizens of the United States are in a constant state of flux and movement. Americans are constantly moving from major city to major city, in between New York and San Francisco, from LA to Phoenix.

Recently a group consisting of MIT, IBM and AT&T research teams tracked who was talking to whom and overlaid this data on a map of the United States. The visualization is both stunning and informative. The colored areas represent the geographic areas where the most calls and texts have taken place. Also, resulting lines and other patterns show which cities are directly calling each other directory.

For me, a few expected patterns emerged, including frequent call activity between major cities such as New York and Los Angeles,  New York and San Francisco, Chicago to New York. However what is really interesting is how close neighbor states talk to each other on a very frequent basis such as the Carolinas, Louisiana and Mississippi, and oddly Phoenix and Portland, Oregon.

The resulting map shows how communities form and migrated and show connections mainly dominated in large cities. As you can see, middle America which is largely rural is almost left out of the map completely…what’s wrong with Montana?

See the video below and let us know your thoughts. What patterns emerge for you when you see it?  Would this type of pattern be replicated in your country?

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