Not-So-United States of America

I posted a couple weeks back about  currency tracking, specifically doing so through the Website “” to upload the bill’s serial number and your current location to help track the dissemination of dollar bills from any two points in the country. A German physicist by the name of Dirk Brockman has recently used Where’ to conduct 1 million reports from 500,000 freely circulating dollar bills, tracking their mobility to construct a map of the United States  upon which the map attempts convey strong monetary connections between regions of the USA.  The map is drawn into sections, distinguished by varying degrees of blue lining. So thick blue lines are essentially conveying to the viewer: “This is as far as most of the money goes”. Therefore, the map is trying to accurately depict economic pockets between regions of the US, places where people exchange dollars for goods quite frequently in relation to how much they exchange with outsiders. The idea itself is intuitive but the results are surprising as clear cut divisions exist between regions of the United States. For example, The region consisting of Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas is outlined by a thick blue line but within it there are also thin blue lines within this section suggesting that, on a macro and micro level,  people tend to exchange with those that are closer to them. The map itself has other practical applications as well, as, not always, but most frequently, a person must move to have their dollar bill move as well, (Obviously this is excluding online banking), thus, the map can also serve as an indicator of physical mobility across the united States. As seen in class, People have begun using anonymous information from companies like At&t to create connections between calling locations. It would be interesting to see an evolution of this map as I would venture to guess that sites like Amazon and eBay reduce the amount of blue lining throughout the whole country as they help connect buyers and sellers from all parts of the globe.





One thought on “Not-So-United States of America”

  1. This post and the experiment is very interesting because it shows how money flows within the U.S .reflecting the money exchange points in a large monetary network. We can see where consumers exchange their money to goods and services. From the experiment we can also conclude how people are interlinked, if they leave their normal surroundings and with whom they have contact with. These facts do not only provide some ideas about the money flow itself but also give us some information about the social network across the United States.

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