The New York Times released a new study today that shows where baseball fans in the United States are found. How did they collect the information for this article? Facebook. Millions of fans across the country have made their sports team preferences readily available on their Facebook profiles. This map illustrates where fans of baseball teams are most commonly found. It allows you interact and search by county and zip code so you can get specific. This way, borders of rival teams like the Yankees and the Red Sox can be clearly defined.
This new article shows how Facebook and the information we share via social media can seem insignificant and just for fun, but can actually prove very accurate for findings like this. Often we do not think twice about what we post on our profiles, but that information can be gathered and used as data. They created this map based off of how many Facebook users “liked” each team within a zip code. Like all data, this could be flawed. For example, I’m sure there are people who support a certain team that do not have Facebook or do not “like” their teams page on Facebook.
Regardless, it is an interesting way to put data from Facebook onto a real life application. The article stated that this kind of information allows us to “determine the precise Chicago neighborhoods where White Sox jerseys stop being welcome” and other important boundaries for baseball fans. You can search for your zip code on the interactive map.