[This is a guest post by Hugh Malkin*, Co-Founder of HUGE city (www.hugecity.us).]
Two years ago, I moved back to Atlanta after finishing grad school in Holland. It had been 5 years since my undergrad at Georgia Tech and Facebook told me I still had friends in the city.
Unfortunately, I found myself travelling 5 days a week and when I arrived home at the weekends I was exhausted and had no plans with anyone. Fridays were always the same – send out last minute texts to a few friends and end up hanging out with a friend and his girlfriend or by myself at the same old bar.
I knew more people in town, but to re-establish contact without something specific to break the ice made me feel awkward. I knew weâ€™d feel more comfortable if we were engaged in something fun and interesting â€“ but where were those events? And how come I always heard about them AFTER they happened?
Fortunately, through my work with LED lighting I became involved with city improvement projects throughout the US. I quickly discovered these newly renovated areas, caused great excitement in each community and become magnets for artists, writers, performers, musicians, professors, political groups, and chefs. Soon we have pop-up galleries, theatres, concerts, lecture halls, and restaurants. These communities within communities, these hives of activity, are the underground pulse of the city and I have found it happening all over the country. Social media has allowed groups to internally communicate and share ideas. But these groups rarely mix or even know each other. As an observer I realized that no true renaissance is complete without an audience that can both interact and give feedback. The audience is the catalyst of further progress. I saw the opportunity to turn these renaissances, happening around the country into something big.
The problem with these many events is that they are local; they happen quickly and often the event holders do not have a marketing budget for traditional media such as newspapers to highlight them. So the only place to find these events is Facebook. Facebook has every public event that is happening around you but they make it impossible to discover events that you have not been invited to.
Our solution is simple. Bring on the Renaissance. Allow everyone to discover everything happening around them.
HUGE city takes all this information and maps out all of the public Facebook events happening around you, and all around the world. We give you a visual map of all events and you can limit that map to how far you want to travel, around the block, within the neighborhood, within the city. We know that you normally do more than one thing while you are out. So we map multiple events to enable you to see what else is possible around a particular event.
Since Facebook is global, HUGE city can be used like a live Lonely Planet for events as you travel around the world. HUGE city shows all of the neighborhood events in every city from New York to Tel Aviv. We only show 100 events at a time so click on the clusters of events to see more. You can see why we use clusters in the last picture which was the first HUGE city.
Your time is precious and you donâ€™t want to miss the best, so our first filter is the top rated list. This shows the events in order of the number of people who have favorited the event on HUGE city. HUGE city also adds the favorited event to your recommended list.
The recommended list uses your Facebook profile to narrow the events shown to just the events your Facebook friends are going to and your Facebook likes have created.
The my friends list shows which of your friends are going out and what they are going to do. This instantly solved my need to find out which of my hundred friends in Atlanta are going out tonight and why they were going out.
*Hugh Malkin and Adam Wilson released theÂ HUGEÂ city website (www.hugecity.us) in early 2012. The website is continually refined and updated. They recently added the mobile website and will be releasing the mobile app in early 2013. So much more to come in the next three months!
Have a cool data visualization project? Feature it here on Visual Loop. Just send us an email: contact[at]visualoop[dot]com