By The Numbers

Facebook maps the world

Tobin Low Feb 22, 2016

A happy Monday to you. Here are some need-to-know numbers to end your day.


Facebook knows a lot of information about people all over the world — that’s a given. The scope, however, is about to get a whole lot bigger. In a blog post published Monday, the social media site outlined a global map it has compiled using 14.6 billion satellite images. Using that massive collection of data, Facebook’s engineers have identified where man-made locations exist, effectively detailing all the places inhabited by humans on the planet. As BBC Tech writes, the map will be made available for use later this year, in hopes that it can be a tool for identifying areas that should be better equipped to handle natural disasters…oh, and for seeing which places need Facebook’s internet-drones, of course.

But not everyone has access to Facebook’s resources, especially the fledgling startup. In fact, a growing trend in the tech industry finds companies turning to the “gig economy” — freelancers who can be hired to work project to project — in order to save on costs. RocketSpace, a co-working space for tech companies, paid a freelancer in Vietnam $200 for its logo, which it has used for the past several years. It’s big and small shortcuts like these that some tech companies say they need to survive. But other analysts are quick to point out a labeling issue — they don’t think of it as the “gig economy,” so much as they believe it’s straight up outsourcing work.

A new report was released Monday on diversity in Hollywood from the University of Southern California. The film and television industry have been the focus of much scrutiny lately, especially with the Oscar nominations completely passing over actors of color. This new report is especially bleak. As New York Magazine’s Vulture blog writes, of 11,000 speaking parts in 2014 films and television shows, only 28 percent were non-white. Earlier this year, our own Adriene Hill spoke to the president of Women in Film about the gender disparity among directors in the industry. 

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