London Vs Boston

October 2, 2015

(This article was first published on Mango Solutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

By Paulin Shek

Following the great success of the EARL conference in London earlier this month, our attention now turns to EARL Boston which will take place between 2-4th November just across the pond; the competition is already on to see which will come out top in 2015!! With presentations, speakers and venues as different and diverse as the cities themselves, our Boston conference is well worth a visit, even if you also visted our EARL London event. Limited tickets are available online for this unique event, so why not buy yours now?

As EARL is all about applications of the R programming language, used for statistical analysis and visualisation, we thought it would be interesting to put the two cities head-to-head statistically- to present you with some interesting visual comparisons of London vs Boston.

The first plot shows the number of residents in London and Boston, compared to the number of residents in London and Boston including the metropolitan area that surrounds each city. This is the area from which it is practical to commute to work in the city. In London, this is known as the “commuter belt”

The next plot shows the number of jobs in each city, for a selection of sectors.

Whilst it is obvious to see that London is a lot larger than Boston, it is interesting to see that they both have similar shapes, showing that the proportion of workers in each industry is comparable.

Both conferences are held at popular tourist attractions. But which is more popular on social media?

Both are fantastic conference venues, however it is to be expected that the number of visits to London’s Tower Bridge is a lot higher than the science museum in Boston, since the city itself is much larger in size and attracts a higher number of tourists per year. Furthermore, visits to Tower Bridge are likely to be shorter whereas Science Museum visits tend to take up a whole day, therefore it is probable that the flow of visiters over a day boosts the stats for London over Boston in this particular comparison. With this is mind, it is quite impressive that the number of likes for the Boston Science Museum is actually in line with those of Tower Bridge.

Can you guess what’s trending on Twitter in the two cities? Hover over each word to find out! Orange words come from Boston and grey words come from London.

London and Boston are in a celebratory mood, with tweets about Eid, the Rugby World Cup and #diverseauthorday. However, other trends are more serious, for example #mecca refers to the mecca stampede and ‘#cypresswood’ and ‘#Edna’ refers to a traffic accident. London is also engaged with many serious issues such as affordable housing (‘#nfs15’) and the first minister’s questions (‘#fmqs’). This contrasts with the tweets about Big Brother (‘#BB17’)! It’s also worth checking out the great puns for #MakeAMovieMoreChildFriendly.

Both cities are famed for their many breweries. The next infographic shows precisely how many!

Breweries in London and Boston

..and you can explore them yourself here:

And finally let’s compare the weather. Hopefully it will be less rainy in Boston than it was in London – although the stats do not appear to be weighted in our favour…

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Mango Solutions. offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials on topics such as: Data science, Big Data, R jobs, visualization (ggplot2, Boxplots, maps, animation), programming (RStudio, Sweave, LaTeX, SQL, Eclipse, git, hadoop, Web Scraping) statistics (regression, PCA, time series, trading) and more...

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