Map: How the fastfood workers’ fight just went global

16 May 2014

In November 2012, fastfood workers in New York went on strike for decent wages. Since, the fight has spread rapidly in the US and on 15 May, it went global. There were actions in cities like Dublin, Mumbai, São Paulo, Bandung, Kagoshima and many others. Security workers at Amsterdam Airport, who had just had their own action for real jobs, also showed their support.

The map above shows cities mentioned in tweets with the hashtag #FastFoodGlobal.


The map above doesn’t even do justice to the scope of the action. For one thing, many other hashtags were used besides #FastFoodGlobal (e.g., #fastfoodstrike, #fightfor15, #raisethewage, #lowpayisnotok, and, quite often actually, #ronaldmacdonald). Further, it only captures references in the Latin alphabet, and only the transcription used by Wikipedia.

I used the Twitter API to collect some 50,000 tweets with the hashtag #FastFoodGlobal. I checked the text of these tweets agains a list of cities with a population of 100,000 and over. Of course, it’s impossible to identify cities with 100% accuracy. I removed cities like Van (Turkish city but also a word in Spanish and Dutch) and Hamburg (cf. hamburger) as well as cities mentioned less than 25 times. The map is based on a tutorial by D3 Tips and Tricks.

16 May 2014 | Categories: d3js, data, maps, trade union