Uber, the wildly successful taxi-service app that garners both good and virulently hateful feeling, just released maps of how its services are used in the 100 cities in which it now operates.
Releasing beautiful maps is a well-worn strategy for tech companies to get a little bit of free press. Foursquare, the location check-in app, released a bunch of maps last year, Facebook did the same, and Instagram regularly releases lists of the most photographed places in the world. (Considering Quartz covered all of these, the free press strategy is self-evidently working.)
But what makes Uber’s maps different is that they go beyond telling you about how the service is used—Foursquare’s maps, for instance, look like little more than night-time shots of cities from the sky—to reveal the demographic contours of cities. Take the image above, of New York. Uber is clearly popular on the island of Manhattan, and gets decent traffic out to Brooklyn. But few residents of Queens, which is poorer and skews older (pdf), seem to use the service. The Bronx is invisible.
Uber’s usage maps are a handy tool for finding the world’s rich, young people