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Friday, July 06, 2012

Beer or Church?

I wouldn't be a respectable blogger if I didn't periodically blatantly rip off someone else's content, repackage it slightly, and trundle it out for you, would I?  (I need to get a few more back-handed compliments about the blog to post at the masthead--this kind of thing does wonders.)  (Also, it's worth noting that my traffic sucks--you damned Oregonians got one look at the sun and quit your homes and computers--so a bit of recycling seems timely.)  (This is just one more parenthetical because you need three to have a series.)

Without further ado:
So in honor of the 4th of July, we selected all geotagged tweets[1] sent within the continental US between June 22 and June 28 (about 10 million in total) and extracted all tweets containing the word "church" (17,686 tweets of which half originated on Sunday) or "beer" (14,405 tweets which are much more evenly distributed  throughout the week). See below for more technical details[2] or just go straight to the map below to see the relative distribution of the tweets in the U.S.
Fascinating! If you click and enlarge the map below and look very closely, you can see how Oregon counties break out:

Those tagged "much more beer" include predictably beer-saturated counties of Multnomah, Deschutes, and Lane, with surprises Marion and Lincoln showing up.  There's only one "much more church" county in the state: Clackamas, which may explain why the southern suburbs are so brewery-poor.  Oregon tilts in favor of beer 20 counties to six--a rout.  Interestingly, neighboring Idaho, which most would consider more churchy than beery, is even more impressive--16 to three, with no "much more church" (and four "much more beer") counties. 

There's another, more statsy map involving something called the Moran's I test for spatial auto-correlation which is also interesting, but you'll have to follow the link to see what that's all about.


  1. Rad map! I wonder what it would look like if it were normalized for population?

  2. Well, on second thought, I guess it kind of is since it is a ratio.