See What DVDs Your Neighbors Are Renting

NY Times builds geo-mashup for movie lovers

By Olsen Ebright and Lori Preuitt
|  Monday, Jan 11, 2010  |  Updated 8:54 PM PDT
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See What DVDs Your Neighbors Are Renting

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If you can't afford a movie on the big screen, a certain DVD delivery service isn't going out of business. The number of subscribers to Netflix climbed 26 percent in the fourth quarter from the same time last year.

Behind every red envelope is a story. Now, behind that story is an interactive map courtesy of the New York Times.

The Times used data on the top Netflix rentals in 2009, based on zip code. The heat map can be sorted by most rented, alphabetical and metascore.

There is one big problem with the map.  It thinks the Bay Area doesn't include Santa Clara County, thus cutting off the largest population area.  But the remaining areas are still chock- full of interesting data.

Movie lovers can simply mouse-over neighborhoods for the hyperlocal top 10's.

Pretty much every local  zip code rented "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button " and "Slumdog Millionaire."  "Cadillac Records" got the rental shaft, rounding out the list at No. 100.

There are a few curious trends the map highlights, such as "Milk" being the top pick in both San Francisco and Oakland.  East Bay cities like Walnut Creek, Lafayette and Moraga seemed to have a liking for "Doubt."

Other regions on the map include Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington D.C., Seattle, Minneapolis, Denver, Atlanta, Dallas and Miami.

The map can be viewed on the Times' website.  Give yourself a couple minutes to poke around and we bet you find something that catches your interest.

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