The New York Times has done it again. In their continuing effort to rethink the way “news” is presented in the digital era, they’ve hatched a killer mashup of Google Maps and Netflix data that doubles as a way to serve up their own reviews of top rentals.
Titled “A Peek into Netflix Queues”, the feature invites you to pick a major US city and mouse around a map to see top ten lists of 2009 Netflix rentals by zip code.
Using a slide bar at the top, you can select a movie title to see a color-coded display of its popularity. The darker the region, the higher the Netflix rental rank.
Not surprisingly, Milk was more popular in Minneapolis’ Uptown area (ranked #2 in 55408) than it was up in the northern suburbs (#26 in 55443). As pointed out by Nathan at FlowingData.com, there was an interesting split in the DC area over rentals of Frost/Nixon (below).
I’d much rather explore these maps and make my own interesting discoveries than read somebody’s article about geo-trends in Netflix activity. This is the kind of news that can’t land on your doorstep, and I credit the New York Times for embracing data visualization as an emerging and very relevant form of journalism.