Baby, we were born to…make maps

September 13, 2012

Daniel Trone uses 40 years of Bruce Springsteen concerts to make this animated heat map of his touring schedule over time:

A bit more from Brian Timoney on what you're seeing:

  • each red dot is a performance (data courtesy of the Killing Floor database)
  • the intensity or “heat” generated is a function of the location of a show, the size of the venue, and inversely correlated with the overall population within 40km of the concert location. So for instance, a single arena show in New York City will generate less heat than a single arena show in Omaha, NE
  • there is a tapering effect applied so returning to a particular area within a few months will reflect a cumulative heat effect (**Click here for interactive map version)

And a little more about how geography may have worked in Springsteen's favor:

From strictly a population geography standpoint, in the early 1970s you couldn’t do better than being equidistant between New York City (largest city) and Philadelphia (#4): over 20 million souls within a two-hour drive. Just as important, the Jersey Shore provided a unique, accessible symbolic resonance to audiences that resonates as a Place. (In stark contrast to the way a million bands from Brooklyn today fail to convince the rest of us of the intrinsic awesomeness of…Brooklyn.)

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Ezra Klein · September 13, 2012