Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Austin is 'liberal,' Tampa is 'trashy,' and Buffalo is both 'cold' and 'depressing.'
You may have seen Renee DiResta's excellent Google auto-complete map of state stereotypes that was circling around the Internet last summer. As she discovered, Google's search engine does a pretty impressive job of channeling public sentiment in its effort to anticipate our thoughts (and keystrokes). Try typing in "Why is Mississippi so..." for instance, and the collective wisdom of the Internet will automatically tell you that most people seem to think that the state is awfully "... poor."
Harkening back to this project, Atlanta resident and Cities reader Nate Shivar recently repeated this pseudo-scientific experiment with the 50 most populous metro areas in the U.S. And his results will likely strike even closer to home. Shivar passed along his list to us, and Mark Byrnes created the below graphics out of some of our favorite stereotypes (we just can't help ourselves, Buffalo!). You can check out all 50 cities here. In our opinion, these are some of the most stereotype-able cities, for good or bad (we were not impressed, by the way, that many people think New York City is "so great").
And now we won't feel so guilty any more about wondering whether Tampa is kinda trashy. Because Google says it's so.