Saturday, January 9, 2010

Netflix Queues via GIS

Who's renting Twilight? via NY Times

Here's yet another fascinating use of GIS technology. (I blogged about free GIS applications in a previous post.) This technology is even more powerful when a teacher can reference popular culture for "educational purposes." For example, check out this NY Times article that provides interactive maps detailing Netflix users' DVD queues via GIS technology. Interactive city maps include New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington, Bay Area (e.g., San Francisco), L.A., Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami. A great use of these maps is having students compare rental patterns (e.g., Twilight, Milk, Taken, Doubt) to Census demographics presented through gCensus and Google Earth. That is, what variables seem to attribute to the high number of Twilight rentals in certain neighborhoods? Number of teenage children or number of single adults? Ok, kidding aside (I should actually see the movie before I criticize it), this article is a great example of how map analysis (with a pop culture spin) and GIS can be made even more accessible in the classroom.

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