This map confirms it: Pennsylvania Twitter is obsessed with potholes

Geotagged tweets reveal Pittsburgh’s communal obsession is actually a national one.

A map compiled by ranking the presence of pothole mentions on Twitter by state.

A map compiled by ranking the presence of pothole mentions on Twitter by state.


Updated: 3 p.m. 

Ah, potholes. What hasn’t already been said?

In cities like Pittsburgh and states like Pennsylvania, a winter of extremes has left roadways a mess. And nowhere is this more apparent than on Twitter — and on Mayor Peduto’s TL in particular — where people have gone to vent their frustration and report potholes for repair.

An assortment:

But how does Pennsylvania’s fixation rank?

According to data collected and compiled into a map by, the answer is right near the top.

Pothole mania

The site pulled geotagged tweets over the last 30 days — more than 100,000 tweets in total — that mentioned potholes and which almost definitely involved complaints about them. (Editor’s note: If there’s someone out there who *enjoys* potholes, we’d like to speak with you:

The top 10 states for those tweets and complaints are as follows:

  1. Indiana
  2. West Virginia
  3. Michigan
  4. Pennsylvania
  5. Tennessee
  6. Ohio
  7. Delaware
  8. Mississippi
  9. Vermont
  10. Illinois

Pennsylvania had 9,800 tweets about potholes and the top cities by percentage were Pittsburgh with 41 percent and Philly with 21 percent. Based on those numbers, just over 4,000 geotagged tweets about potholes came out of Pittsburgh between January 22 and February 22.

Gearheads rep Ryan Taylor explained the methodology behind the tally by email:

“The methodology is pretty simple. Gearheads gets its twitter data from software called Trendsmap, which allows you to pay for geotagged twitter data. Geotagged data (tweets that have geolocation activated) from 30 days (January 22 to February 22)  was collected and then mapped out by state.

There were 103,200 tweets collected.

In addition, the map is by percentage of geotagged tweets rather than sheer number (so kind of like “per capita”). For example, Indiana is the number one state because out of all the tweets coming from that state, including all subjects, it had the highest percentage of tweets specifically about potholes. Pennsylvania was 4th on this list. This is a better metric, because if you went by sheer number, New York, California, and Texas would win every category, simply because of their population size.

So if you feel like potholes have had an unusually significant presence on your social media feeds this winter, you’re right.

Also know that the City of Pittsburgh is working overtime to fix them.

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