Jul 16, 2018

Monday Map #3: Close Knit Communities in Pittsburgh

Remember when board games were a thing? You know, that thing you and your friends would do growing up when it was raining outside? The conversation was good, the laughter even better. It was your little community of friends.

These days, it often seems like we have lost the ability to spend intentional time with one another. However, as you'll see in the data, there's still groups of people out there who engage in and seek out this type of community. This is our "Close Knit Community" segment for Pittsburgh, PA. 


How Do You Find "Close Knit Community" On Social Media?

Our analysis is more sophisticated than just looking at hashtags and keywords. By categorizing social media based on text similarity, we reveal how areas stack up against one another for a given social topic. The categorization is built bottom-up — in other words, we didn’t set out to find “Close Knit Community," it just happened to be a common type of conversation people naturally engage in on social media. 


What is Close Knit Community?

Some of the 200+ topics our text analysis organized for this specific category are:

barmitzvah, friday night lights, disco, cigar society, game night

This segment is great because of the level of nuance it reveals in the data. Distinct from typical nightlife outings, this group values getting people together for the purpose of simply being in community and celebrating with one another.  


Over-Indexing Areas for Close Knit Community in Pittsburgh

These are the areas that over-indexed for Close Knit Community compared to the national average (national average = 0, 99th percentile = 10). One notable area was the University of Pittsburgh, likely due the community fostered among the students there.

Screen Shot 2018-07-16 at 10.28.35 AM


  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Green Tree
  • Baldwin Township
  • Homewood South
  • Swissvale
  • Millvale



What would knowing this information help us with?

Health Organizations: There is a definitive connection between the health of individuals, a community, and a city. If groups like the World Health Organization could better understand where there are strong communities, it could lead to more effective solutions to common health issues. 

Urban Planners: Does your city's design facilitate community or hinder it? Does it allow good ideas to spread? Urban planners who have insight into the ways in which people get together will be able to make more confident decisions that lead to greater opportunities for connection and innovation.

Mobility Planners: Some of our mobility partners are pairing this data with traffic accidents and violence in an area to see if there is a correlation with great community and low traffic and violence. This theory was originally put forward by Jane Jacobs in "The Death and Life of Great American Cities" (eyes on the street + lights on the street + people know their community).

Marketing: Products that are meant to be used in a community context could optimize their marketing and advertising by targeting this audience. For example, stores that sell games like cornhole or bocce ball could target mobile ads in areas where Close Knit Community is over-indexing.


The more we understand the nature and activity of communities, the better we'll be able to meet that community's needs. What companies or use cases could you see this map being valuable for?


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