(via Atlas Obscura)
This map is a representation of the economic and communal regions of America, irregardless of state lines. It’s an amalgamation of human and computer analysis. Artificial intelligence aggregated the data points and the human intelligence connected the dots and decided which areas deserved prominence.
Here is how the raw commuter and census data is visualized, without human interpretation:
It’s very pretty on it’s own but isn’t terribly informative.
The dense nodes along the coast makes sense, with particular nodes in between that show a lot of activity, as good are shipped across country. I see Denver being one of the big hubs between the east and west coasts which is in line with its long-standing reputation as ‘the corridor of the west’.
Taken together, these maps show how computers and humans can work together to tease out the meaning in a vast matrix of data. There’s a lot of talk about artificial intelligence replacing humans in many areas but if a number is crunched and nobody’s around interpret it, is it still meaningful?
Machine intelligence compliments and augments our intelligence but is meaningless without thoughtful interpretation.