The route to answering the big questions these days is to grab a bunch of data from Twitter and analyse it. That's exactly what Twitter data scientist Edwin Chen decided to do, putting together a map that shows soft drink terms used around the world.
In the map above (click for a larger image) blue indicates "soda", green indicates "pop" and red indicates "coke". Chen explains how he went about the task:
To make this map, I sampled geo-tagged tweets containing the words "soda", "pop", or "coke", performed some state-of-the-art NLP technology to ensure the tweets were soft drink related (e.g., the tweets had to contain "drink soda" or "drink a pop"), and filtered out coke tweets that were specifically about the Coke brand (e.g., Coke Zero).
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the word "soda" is dominant in the US, "pop" is more commonly used in Canada, and "coke" is the preferred term in Australia. What's particularly interesting is seeing that the word "coke" has penetrated Europe in a way that the words "pop" and "soda" haven't. While that not only shows consumerism is alive and well, it's also a nice little reminder of the power of Twitter data to not only provide hard numbers but cultural insight too. [Edwin Chen via Flowing Data]