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Map of the Day: Soda vs. Pop vs. Coke

Map of the Day: Soda vs. Pop vs. Coke
Edwin Chen

The map above is the latest play on the old "pop" vs. "soda" map of the United States. Edwin Chen, a data scientist at Twitter who conducted math and linguistics research at MIT, compiled tweets that used either "coke," "soda," or "pop" when describing a soft drink. The red on the map shows places where "coke" is more prevalently tweeted, green indicates "pop," and blue is for "soda." Chen describes his method for organizing, cleaning, and aggregating the data:

Here, I bucketed all tweets within a 0.333 latitude/longitude radius, calculated the term distribution within each bucket, and colored each bucket with the word furthest from its overall mean. I also sized each point according to the (log-transformed) number of tweets in the bucket.

Chen's findings reflect similar linguistic boundaries seen in prior maps, such as this one by Samuel Arbesman. The East Coast and much of the West (California) are blue, indicating a prevalence of the term "soda." The Midwest tends to use "pop." And the South (and many spaces in between) prefers "coke."

Keywords: Maps, Twitter, Soda

Richard Florida is Co-Founder and Editor at Large at The Atlantic Cities. He's also a Senior Editor at The Atlantic, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and Global Research Professor at New York University. He is a frequent speaker to communities, business and professional organizations, and founder of the Creative Class Group, whose current client list can be found here. All posts »

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