By utilizing rental data Netflix makes freely available, the New York Times has published a Google Maps mashup illustrating the most popular rental titles in each zip code.
Observing the map, it's clear that some movies like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire have universal appeal. With other films, however, geographic patterns emerge.
The popularity of films such as Cadillac Records and Rachel Getting Married appear to be closely tied to racial makeup of neighborhoods. The popularity of other DVDs appears split along urban/suburban lines (Mad Men is almost exclusively popular in urban neighborhoods, while Last Chance Harvey is only popular in suburban neighborhoods. The reasons for other patterns are less clear: Why for example is Confessions of a Shopaholic so popular around military bases?
The map provides an amusing and intriguing look into correlations between geography and movie preference.
Thanks to Chris loos
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