Place-names
May 29, 2019 3:06 PM   Subscribe

A map of the US in which each city name is replaced by the person from that place with the most Wikipedia traffic.

You can zoom right in, but on desktop this seems to be limited to using the plus/minus keys or the mouse wheel. People are "from" a place (or a few) when they appear in this branch of Wikipedia categories.
posted by sylvanshine (101 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well we have Ted Bundy and The Rock so ... there's that ;)
posted by twidget at 3:21 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I suppose if every second state has a town of Springfield in real life, I can't get too upset over the 3,000 miles between Dwayne Johnson, FL and Dwayne Johnson, CA.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:22 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


I mean, it’s not the person from each place, it’s “resident” which apparently means they lived there once, which... okay. If it was from there I think it’d be more interesting.
posted by Automocar at 3:27 PM on May 29 [9 favorites]


My own home of Philadelphia gets... Taylor Swift, who is neither 1) a resident or 2) was born here. (She's from Pennsylvania, sure, but Reading is absolutely a distinct city.)

(That said, she's made sizable donations in the past to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and also she does a good music, so I'm not too upset to have her instead of, say, Bill Cosby, who is (sigh) correctly identified with my Actual Hometown of Cheltenham.)
posted by Tomorrowful at 3:27 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I mean, it’s not the person from each place, it’s “resident” which apparently means they lived there once, which... okay

Indeed. I notice Wilmington, DE has Bob Marley as its most notable resident. Somewhere today Valerie Bertinelli and George Thorogood are both on the phone to their publicists.

Also, alas poor Joe Biden.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:29 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I don’t think Joe Biden ever lived in Wilmington. He lived in Claymont (which is reflected) and then moved to Greenville, which is pretty fancy pants.
posted by Automocar at 3:31 PM on May 29


"…I got my name, my musical education and my personality all from working at a record store during my tender years. Small indie shops have always been a mix of theatre and laboratory. In the ’50s and ’60s the teen kids used to gather after school at these places to listen free to the latest singles and see if they liked the beat…"

-Iggy Pop on working at Discount Records in Iggy Pop, Michigan.
posted by clavdivs at 3:37 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


Interesting concept, terrible interface design.
posted by tavella at 3:44 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


My own home of Philadelphia gets... Taylor Swift, who is neither 1) a resident or 2) was born here. (She's from Pennsylvania, sure, but Reading is absolutely a distinct city.)

But of COURSE she's the biggest name from Wyomissing. (Which is also a distinct city from Reading, thank you.)
posted by kdar at 3:47 PM on May 29


Never would I have guessed that Sylvester Stallone has a connection to Silver Spring, MD.
posted by sallybrown at 3:49 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


People are "from" a place (or a few) when they appear in this branch of Wikipedia categories.

I think you can be on this map without being in that list, because Stevie Nicks is the name associated with El Paso, despite her not being on the El Paso list. Her wikipedia page does mention that she lived in El Paso for a while growing up, though.
posted by 23skidoo at 3:54 PM on May 29


Dwayne Johnson in 'Lehigh Valley' Good lord.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:59 PM on May 29


Providence has been renamed as H.P. Lovecraft which is fine by me.
posted by fancyoats at 4:00 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


Well, apparently a whole bunch of Pro Wrestlers are from Minnesota. Who'd have thunk it?
posted by Sphinx at 4:02 PM on May 29


I've always been real proud to have grown up in Iggy Pop, and faintly annoyed to have grown up in Ann Arbor, so I'm pretty okay with this.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:02 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


I've always been real proud to have grown up in Iggy Pop

Is this why he never wears a shirt?
posted by Automocar at 4:11 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Jim Bridger, a 19th century explorer / mountain man for Richmond VA? We literally just named a street for Arthur Ashe, not to mention his big statue on Monument Ave. I sense a bug in their system.
posted by COD at 4:16 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


> Interesting concept, terrible interface design.

What's wrong with it? I thought it was pretty lovely, to my designer eye. I appreciated they had pop-ups for who people are because when I zoomed in enough to see who got the most Wikipedia traffic from my little hometown of 2,500 people (Earl Young, maker of mushroom houses!) I didn't know any of the other names in nearby towns and wanted to know why they'd have their own Wikipedia entry.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 4:19 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


Also, any oddities as far as not showing actual residents is coming from Wikipedia, according to their data & method blurb:
Person/city associations were based on the thousands of “People from X city” pages on Wikipedia. The top person from each city was determined by using median pageviews (with a minimum of 1 year of traffic). We chose to include multiple occurrences for a single person because there is both no way to determine which is more accurate and people can “be from” multiple places.
Imperfect but I still found this to be a really cool way to waste some time looking up people I didn't know on Wikipedia.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 4:24 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


~Interesting concept, terrible interface design.
~What's wrong with it?


You mean other than crashing over and over on my iPad the second I try to zoom?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:26 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Ok yeah that's bad
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:28 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


My current home neighborhood in Brooklyn has the Notorious B.I.G., which I knew about (they lean into that here).

My brother's family currently is in the home of Don DiMaggio, a longtime BoSox team member some years back.

My grandfather used to live in Geena Davis, and I knew about that.

My own birthplace shares its name with both Peter Tork, and a rapper named "Apathy", and that last bit tickles me in a place I can't reach.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:36 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I was speaking as a desktop user in terms of finding the interface to be quite nice. Crashing isn’t a UI design problem but certainly is annoying.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 4:46 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Anyone else have trouble zooming? Interestingly I get it to tilt, but not much else. (Macbook)
posted by bunderful at 4:49 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Nothing outside the states, but near my old Niagara peninsula town is a Mark Twain and 2 Timothy McVieghs.
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:55 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


The locals in Joaquin Phoenix just call the place Tom Petty
posted by oddman at 4:55 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


Why does Santa Barbara love Katy Perry?

Oh, I see she was born there. Okay, then.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 4:59 PM on May 29


Kurt Cobain got bumped out of Aberdeen by a WWE wrestler? Fucking jocks, still winning.
posted by Beardman at 5:01 PM on May 29 [9 favorites]


Oh, I get it. I originally read it as "most wikipediaed by people in that city". That's obviously wrong. It's "most wikipedianated person associated with that city".
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 5:13 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I zoomed in on the vineyard and I live mostly in William Styron.
posted by vrakatar at 5:26 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


now I want a browser extension that auto-replaces US cities like:

"Harrison Ford was born in Barack Obama and went to college in Harry Gordon Selfridge before moving to Elon Musk to audition for radio voice-overs. To promote his film Cowboys & Aliens, he appeared at the Kris Jenner Comic-Con in 2011."

but then again what do I know, I went to high school in Don Gorske, the man who eats two Big Macs every day
posted by taquito sunrise at 5:32 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


also KORN IS NOT A PERSON, CALM DOWN BAKERSFIELD
posted by taquito sunrise at 5:35 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


Many Gandolfinis in North Jersey.
posted by HeroZero at 5:44 PM on May 29


San Jose (along with most major towns on the Peninsula) got Steve Jobs, which is... okay I guess. I was sorta hoping for Cesar Chavez, but was braced for Smash Mouth.
posted by Phobos the Space Potato at 5:45 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Cardi B. for my current location, which makes sense. She’s from here, and it was going to be either her or J.Lo, anyway, right? No one knows Winston Churchill’s grandpa owned my neighborhood back in the day.

And I’m not mentioning Milwaukee’s top person for reasons. You know who it is. ::sigh::
posted by droplet at 5:54 PM on May 29


Town I grew up in apparently doesn't have anybody notable enough for Wikipedia, which seems to be because Wikipedia states they were all born in another city some miles away, where the hospital is.
posted by ardgedee at 6:03 PM on May 29


Some of these locations are known for old-timey people, like Wallace, Idaho has Lana Turner and Little Falls Minnesota has Charles Lindburgh. Makes me think of little scenic places you drive through cross-country that have that feel of having been briefly locally famous but have long since passed into that sleepy senescence from which few towns ever emerge.
posted by xigxag at 6:06 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


I wasn't born in the States but so far I've briefly lived in Tim Curry, moved to Edward Furlong for some years and, after a brief stay in Tony Robbins (ugh), have for now settled in Joseph Gordon-Levitt. My wife is a local and was born in Kelly Clarkson.

As a member of the CERT call-out team attached to the Elon Musk Fire Department I recently had the dubious honor of participating in a mandatory evacuation drill of Steven Seagal.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 6:06 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


I didn't know so many people grew in Maryland. Bea Arthur on the Eastern Shore! I had no idea.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:14 PM on May 29


Steve Jobs Steve Jobs Steve Jobs Malkovich
posted by humboldt32 at 6:31 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


A zoom in on New Mexico finds that Demi Moore and Demi Lovato are near-neighbours. I am not sure how to parse this information, save to note that I Want To Believe.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:37 PM on May 29


Wish they'd included Canada as well, although it was fun to be reminded that I once spent a year living in the Captain Beefheart of America.
posted by oulipian at 6:38 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I'll show this to my 90-year-old grandparents. Despite them having only a vague idea who Bob Mould is, they'll feel validated seeing some acknowledgement of the fact that he wrote Workbook while holed-up on a farm down the road from theirs following the bitter breakup of Hüsker Dü some 30 years ago.
posted by theory at 6:50 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


Hmm. I currently live in Steve Jobs, was looking at apartments in Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs, and Steve Jobs but couldn’t afford them, went to school in Steve Jobs and Steve Jobs, applied to another school in Steve Jobs, and am considering moving 650 miles north to... Steve Jobs.

Wherever I go, there Steve Jobs is, I guess.
posted by Meghamora at 6:53 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


I just realized that last Saturday my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in Charles Manson.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 7:01 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


It sounds super creepy to say that I spent four years in Taylor Swift about a decade ago.
posted by 256 at 7:05 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Hey, I grew up in Peter Dinklage.
posted by octothorpe at 7:05 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


This is really cool in that hey, no shit? kinda way. Still, saying Henry Kissinger is 'from' Belmont, MA seems like a stretch.

Also, this reminds me that I did arts and crafts with John Cena when I was 11. I was never into wrestling much, so I used to be kinda 'eh' about him being my answer whenever anyone asked if I'd met a famous person. But, damn if he hasn't proven himself to be a pretty good guy over years.

posted by es_de_bah at 7:17 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Until now, I did not actually know that Doc Holliday and I were born in the same town in Georgia.

Neat!
posted by darkstar at 7:34 PM on May 29


How did Wikipedia determine which cities to include? For instance, Schuyler, Virginia was where the Waltons was filmed, and I see it on Wikipedia, but not on this map. And that is only one of several American towns that are missing. I went to Wikipedia, looked up some towns that had some fame or famous people connections, and kept drawing blanks. Were the towns themselves sorted according to traffic or what?
posted by CCBC at 7:39 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


I think the map might be changing according to live data? When I looked at it earlier today Duluth was some long-surviving civil war veteran, but now it's Bob Dylan. I hope it isn't vulnerable to City McCityface shenanigans.
posted by traveler_ at 7:45 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


It also includes neighborhoods, not just cities. So apparently I live in the Anthony Kiedis neighborhood of Elon Musk.

(And I just now learned who Anthony Kiedis is. I guess I expected a more instantly recognizable name, but this gets back to what "from" means -- most celebrities are neither born in nor live in Hollywood).
posted by thefoxgod at 7:46 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I went to high school in Rikki Rockett, but all the locals call it Brett Michaels.
posted by jonp72 at 8:02 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Zoomed in on Wisconsin and got three murderers and Neil Gaiman, which seems like a pretty accurate take on what Wikipedia readers are interested in.
posted by escabeche at 8:20 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I correctly guessed Anita Corsaut for my city. But then, we don't have a lot of famous folk of whom to be proud. Helen Crump for the win.
posted by bryon at 8:37 PM on May 29


I knew before I clicked that it would be Lisa Murkoswki representing my little dot on the map. Her parents Frank and Nancy used to own the house next door to where I live (before I moved here, fortunately, and the neighbors who live there now are much more awesome people.)

I know self-linking is frowned on, but would you all consider driving lots of Wikipedia traffic to my neighbor on the other side? he's awesome, too, and I'd much rather have his name repping for our town. Or Nathan; a fantastic artist and genuine cultural treasure wrapped up into one amazing package. Anyone but Lisa, really.. We've actually got a lot of cool folk here, why does it have to be Lisa?
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:57 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


This is neat, but all the places I've lived display either small-time murderers or mass murderers. Is this because of WIkipedia or because of the places I've lived?
posted by a certain Sysoi Pafnut'evich at 9:59 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


Katie Holmes, but those of us of a certain age call it Jamie Farr.
posted by MissySedai at 10:10 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I got the "Leave Brittany alone!" guy. Sorta interesting.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:35 PM on May 29


If we rename my town after a porn star, do we use her stage name or her actual name?
posted by madajb at 10:39 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I live in a complete celebrity void, apparently, but I was pleased (?) to see that one of two people warranting a dot on Whidbey Island is the horse-fucker from Enumclaw, who apparently sought greener pastures here once his racing days were finished. So, wordshore, if you're reading, please pass along to the vicar that if he's looking for a place to retire, Puget Sound has his, er, back.

I was somewhat astonished that one of my childhood towns, the booming metropolis of Gales Ferry, CT, made the cut! Also edited to get the name of the livestock dating town correct.
posted by maxwelton at 11:36 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


I literally have lived in 4 different Steve Jobs and 2 Bill Gates.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 11:52 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Well, the town I spent my teen years in was no surprise: the high school I went to had a statue of Kyle Maclachlan, and I took drama from the same teacher he had back in the day. (She was great.)
posted by mordax at 1:18 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Oh, I get it. I originally read it as "most wikipediaed by people in that city". That's obviously wrong. It's "most wikipedianated person associated with that city".

Me also. But it still seems hugely flawed.
posted by bongo_x at 1:19 AM on May 30


There's a little pop up (on Android, at least) that gives a bit more info on their method:
Data for this story were collected and processed using the Wikipedia API. The period of collection was from July, 2015–May, 2019, from English Wikipedia. It was inspired in part by this map.

Person/city associations were based on the thousands of “People from X city” pages on Wikipedia. The top person from each city was determined by using median pageviews (with a minimum of 1 year of traffic). We chose to include multiple occurrences for a single person because there is both no way to determine which is more accurate and people can “be from” multiple places
Which to me explains a lot of the odd (or interesting, depending on your perspective) results. Stephen King (the author) clearly gets Wikipedia'd a lot, King did briefly live in Fort Wayne Indiana as a child (which I had no idea, I don't recall him ever mentioning it in any of the autobiographical essays and snippets I've ever read), so the intersection of these two factors leads to King being the top result for Ft. Wayne, even though he's not "from" there in any common use of the term.

(This page from the Allen County (Ft. Wayne) Public Library geneaology center suggests that even Ft. Wayne doesn't much care that he lived there, as there don't seem to be any placards or signs or official historical anything.)
posted by soundguy99 at 4:03 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


TIL I'm living in Jim Gaffigan.
posted by Fig at 4:16 AM on May 30


Apparently, I live in me.

Which is correct, I guess, on several levels now.
posted by jscalzi at 4:27 AM on May 30 [28 favorites]


I grew up in John Dillinger, and would often visit my cousins down in Steve McQueen. Later in life, I went to college in Larry Bird (though, at the time it was Eugene Debs. It didn't become Larry Bird until the internet was invented.)
posted by Thorzdad at 4:31 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Well that's embarrassing. HE WAS JUST BORN HERE, I SWEAR.
posted by domino at 6:10 AM on May 30


I live in Ryan Seacrest. I may have to reconsider some life choices.
posted by madcaptenor at 6:12 AM on May 30


Born in Adlai Stevenson II and live in Richard Pryor, and intensely amused that Des Moines is now Jason Momoa.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:19 AM on May 30


I'm from Quentin Tarantino, Tennessee. But, now I live within spitting distance of Charles Manson, OH!!!
posted by bwvol at 6:35 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


The closest they have to where I grew up in Queens is John McEnroe, one neighborhood over. I currently live in Gerry Cooney, NJ. Gerry Cooney still lives here.
posted by ceejaytee at 6:47 AM on May 30


Dave Grohl is so barely from Warren, Ohio it’s ridiculous. He was born here, and then his family moved to Virginia when he was the ripe old age of 3 months.

We suuuuuuuuper lean into it here, though.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:50 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Tucson being John "sunshine on my fucking shoulders" Denver and not Linda Ronstadt is a damn crime. Doug Stanhope for Bisbee is correct and confirms that all is right in the world.
posted by nestor_makhno at 7:31 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Someone can be "from" the town in which they were born, raised, lived or died. I have lived in seven different cities in my life, but consider myself "from" the town I lived in from ages 7-19, St. Cloud. If overseas, I will say Minneapolis since I lived there 7 years and most people have heard of it. In a few years, I will have lived in my current exurb for longer than St. Cloud, so I may start claiming it instead.

Prince was born in Minneapolis and lived in Chanhassen when he died, so he gets both. The town where my mother was born is named for a baseball player who actually lived in Fairfax, MN, where they renamed a street in his honor.
posted by soelo at 7:50 AM on May 30


I was born in Demi Lovato, grew up in Ronny Cox, then subsequently lived (with some repeats) in George W. Bush, Georgia O'Keeffe, Buddy Holly, Murray Gell-Mann, Conrad Hilton, Matthew McConaughey, and Eminem.

This is somehow far more representative of my life than it ought to be.

Ronny Cox is the most famous person from my hometown (though Jack WIlliamson is a close second and would have been better on my list above) . You may not recognize Cox's name, but you'll recognize his face -- he's worked steadily through last year since 1972's Deliverance. (Amazed eight year-old me watching this R-rated movie at the drive-in with my parents who informed me that 'the son of some friends of theirs is in it'.)

"Tucson being John 'sunshine on my fucking shoulders' Denver and not Linda Ronstadt is a damn crime."

That's weird because John Denver was born John Deutschendorf in Roswell, NM and loved Denver so much he changed his name to reflect that...but Denver itself gets Peyton Manning. Poor John. His dad was in the Air Force and there was an AFB in Roswell (famously, I guess) and the Deutschendorf family moved to the AFB in Tucson when he was a kid.

Meanwhile, Roswell doesn't get John Denver, Sam Donaldson, Pat Garrett, Robert Goddard (locally the icon), Nancy Lopez, or Roger Staubach...but instead Demi Moore. She was born there but I don't think she lived there very long. I think she was in Farmington longer as a kid.I knew her (now deceased) aunt and uncle.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:58 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


This is nice - I wish they expand to Canada and the U.K. and... well the world.

I also wish they would include a filter/checkbox for "Living/Deceased" - it would be nice just to see those who are among us, and those who are not. Maybe even a sliding scale for timelines for historic births/deaths?
posted by jkaczor at 8:01 AM on May 30


Grew up in John Brown and now live in Zoe Kravitz. Not bad at all.
posted by rdnnyc at 8:29 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I was convinced my hometown would get a douchebag robber baron. THRILLED WE GOT NINA SIMONE (though technically Tryon's claim to her is better).
posted by thivaia at 8:44 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


jscalzi: Apparently, I live in me.

I await your reworking of Charlene's hit with "I Have Absolutely Been To Me"
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:50 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Wellington, FL gets Bruce Springsteen, which makes this place seem much cooler than it actually is. (Bruce doesn't live here, but he does own a house here, as do several other mega-rich people whose kids do equestrian sports.) I think our most famous year-round resident is Vanilla Ice, who's just two subdivisions down from me.
posted by Daily Alice at 9:02 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I'm happily raising my children in Rainn Wilson.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:10 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


It's Never Lurgi:

Thank you for making the joke I thought of immediately after the edit window closed and I was kicking myself for not thinking of earlier.

Also, I've never been to Paradise (California).
posted by jscalzi at 9:13 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Demi Moore and Demi Lavato both being born in NM made me wonder if the name Demi is regional.
posted by soelo at 9:57 AM on May 30


My state goes from Mark Twain at the West end to Mark Zuckerberg at the East.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:47 AM on May 30


The name for my hometown was somebody I had never heard of, so I had to go to Wikipedia and look him up, thus upping the count.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:53 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


This is just accurately predicting the pending renaming of Minneapolis to Prince*



*or, more accurately, the Prince Necropolis
posted by the phlegmatic king at 10:57 AM on May 30


I live in Kristen Schaal, apparently. I had no idea she was from here!
posted by zsazsa at 11:25 AM on May 30


Bill Clinton is marked for Hope (where he was born), Fayetteville (where he taught at the University of Arkansas), and Little Rock (where he was governor). But not Hot Springs. I can attest that there are big signs on every road into Hot Springs saying "Bill Clinton lived here when he was a boy", and he only lived in Hope until he was four years old.

Chelsea Clinton, meanwhile, is listed in the Flatiron in New York, where she apparently lives. It's a shame she doesn't live in Chelsea.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:34 AM on May 30


The most famous person from my home town is a Youtuber. Fair enough.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 11:38 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I grew up in Kate McKinnon. Our mothers were in a bookgroup for years, but I've never met her.
posted by JPD at 4:34 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Leon Russell for my home town.

A++
posted by double bubble at 6:23 PM on May 30


As I feared, New Orleans gets Ellen DeGeneres. Nothing against her at all, but given the city's cultural history, that's pretty disappointing.
posted by brundlefly at 8:40 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Oddly, Oakland is Tupac. Which... I do not associate with him.
posted by brundlefly at 8:42 PM on May 30


I stand corrected. I didn't realize he lived here for a time. Not sure how I didn't know that.
posted by brundlefly at 9:12 PM on May 30


My little Tennessee town boasts Sam Houston, who was a schoolteacher here when he took a dollar from the drum and enlisted in the US Army.
posted by workerant at 7:30 AM on May 31


Does anyone have any idea why some bands seem to sneak in there for some entries? The Columbus, OH entry is 21 Pilots and Bakersfield, CA is Korn. Is that just a glitch?
posted by mcmile at 9:22 AM on May 31


Does anyone have any idea why some bands seem to sneak in there for some entries?

A long answer...

In the below-the-fold text of the FPP, I tried to explain where the data comes from: a certain set of categories on Wikipedia. I think a number of people missed that. At the time it was my interpretation of the site's explanation, which is sadly vague: it says "Person/city associations were based on the thousands of 'People from X city' pages on Wikipedia." Well, categories are pages, but I just realized that there are also "lists of people from places" pages. Sure enough, there is "List of people from Bakersfield, California" with Korn on it. (Columbus also has 21 Pilots in spelled-out form.) Category-wise, Korn is under "Musical groups from Bakersfield, California", but not the relevant "Musicians from Bakersfield, California". Only the latter is a subcategory of the "People from a place in the United States" set, which I still think is the main source of data.

I wouldn't have used the lists, as they are harder to parse and likely to be more arbitrary and incomplete. My best guess now is that the map uses both the lists and the categories. Because there isn't a list for every place shown on the map (e.g. Oroville, CA).

I mean, this and other concerns about data quality (i.e. "what makes a person 'from' somewhere?"; the Bob Marley example) are what we get with crowd-sourced data; moreover Wikipedia proper is not meant to be a source of computer-readable "data", although a subset of its contributors have been invested in trying to make it so. Ideally such data would now be stored and retrieved from Wikidata, a sibling of Wikipedia. Here's the Wikidata entry for Bob Marley. It's still crowd-sourced (largely populated by data that can be computer-extracted from Wikipedia, ironically, like this map) and has its own real and potential problems.
posted by sylvanshine at 11:32 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


My hometown of Cedar Rapids, IA, is not Grant Wood, as I expected it to be, but Priyanka Chopra! Surprise!
posted by epj at 9:00 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


The little town where I grew up doesn't show up on the map, which means I must not be famous yet.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:45 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


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