The route to answering the big questions these days—like, soda or pop?—is to grab a bunch of data from Twitter and analyze it. Which is exactly what Edwin Chen, a data scientist at Twitter, decided to do.
In the map above (click for a larger image) blue is soda, green pop and red coke. Chen explains how he went about the task:
To make this map, I sampled geo-tagged tweets containing the words "soda", "pop", or "coke", performed some state-of-the-art NLP technology to ensure the tweets were soft drink related (e.g., the tweets had to contain "drink soda" or "drink a pop"), and filtered out coke tweets that were specifically about the Coke brand (e.g., Coke Zero).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the word "soda" is dominant on the coasts, "pop" in the midwest, and "coke" in the southeast. What's interesting around the world map, however, is seeing that outside the US—particularly in Europe—the word "coke" has penetrated culture in a way that the words "pop" and "soda" haven't. While that not only shows consumerism is alive and well, it's also a nice little reminder of the power of Twitter data to not only provide hard numbers, but cultural insight, too. [Edwin Chen via Flowing Data]