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Heat Map of Operating Systems NYC Scott Galloway-NYU Stern-L2-Apple iOS-Android-BlackberryHeat map of operating systems: Red = iOS, Green = Android, Purple = Blackberry

As part of a presentation for DLD (Digital-Life-Design) Conference, NYU Clinical Professor of Marketing Scott Galloway, who is also the founder of research firm L2, presented a heat map of mobile operating systems in New York City created on Mapbox by GNIP, a social data resource. Galloway says that the wealthier areas of Manhattan correlate with iOS usage, while “as you go into the lower income households and suburbia, Android lights up.” He also makes a note, “By the way, if you see purple in the middle lighting up, that’s Jurassic Park. That’s the dinosaurs using Blackberry.” While the composite map is certainly impactful, it’s another example of how maps can be misleading–a subject we previously explored with Runkeeper in “Beautiful Maps and the Lies They Tell.”

Regarding this operating system heat map, Twitter users have commented that the colors could be misleading. @zalzally writes, “Red has a shorter wavelength than green = hits our eyes much faster and can blur other colors in proximity.” @brendankenny writes, “It’s less interesting than it looks, red is drawn on top.” And we’d also like to point out that the data is based on mobile tweets (and only those that were geotagged to begin with, from 2011 to 2013). If Twitter users tend to be on Apple products, there’s a built in bias. What we do know is that changes to iOS impact Twitter usage–not only is there Twitter integration to iOS, the iOS 8 upgrade, and a bug in it, caused Twitter to lose 4 million users.

Going back to the original map source, you can actually separate out each operating system:

Heat Map of Operating Systems NYC Scott Galloway-NYU Stern-L2-Apple iOSiPhone usage 

Heat Map of Operating Systems NYC Scott Galloway-NYU Stern-L2-AndroidAndroid usage

Heat Map of Operating Systems NYC Scott Galloway-NYU Stern-L2-BlackberryBlackberry usage

The heat maps are part of a larger talk about the future of retail and social media–looking at big players like Google and Facebook, startup darlings like Warby Parker and Birchbox, and the big dog, Apple, whom Galloway believes will be the first tech company in history to successfully become a luxury brand. The industry is certainly looking at Apple users in a particular, luxury-oriented way, but when discussing maps, it’s important to tell the whole story.

For techies, here’s the full video (heat map comes at the end).

Next, check out a heat map of hidden slums in NYC. See more maps in our Fun Maps Column. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.

1 Comment

  1. Vince says:

    “Dinosaurs using BlackBerry?” Are you serious? You do realize they have the newest operating system of any smartphone maker right? Pathetic.

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