The great Internet Mapping
Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute began a great project: the building of an interactive Atlas of Internet. Icing on the cake: it is completely free.
“Information is the raw material for much of the work that goes on in the contemporary global economy”, that’s how Mark Graham and Stephano De Sabbata explain their project. They want to draw an Internet map in order to identify the sources of our “knowledge economy” as they call it. This process has taken 4 years now for gathering data from international organizations, institutions reports and drawing visualizations around 3 key points: access, information production and information representation. Their work is still in progress. In the end there will be 30 to 60 maps released both as book and e-book, the whole under the Creative Commons license.
Each map has the same structure. First comes the visualization, most of the time impressive, with a legend. Then a brief description is reported, followed by a focus on data sourcing. Finally the two researchers give us an analysis of the map and some keys for understanding it. Numbers of maps have already been released such as the Google removal request per country and per period, the geospatial content of Wikipedia, or the geography of Twitter.
The population map of Internet users is a really interesting one. It gives us a strange world representation doesn’t it? So Russia is weak and his Internet population cannot compete with Korea or Japan that are ultra connected. We can observe that Great Britain and Germany are the European leaders in terms of penetration rate whereas France has only between 60% and 80% of its population who have access to Internet. But the Great winner is China of course with almost a half of its population connected. In comparison India looks like a dwarf… and Africa is not even in the race.
“Age of Internet Empire”
But my favorite is, without any doubt, the “Age of Internet Empire” visualization. It represents each country’s most visited website, overall in old colonial style. The Google’s war machine of takes up most of the Planet, Facebook grabs the rest. However, the Dragon’s shadow comes slowly, Baïdu, only two countries but weighting half a billion people… whereas Facebook with over 50 countries can only rely on around 280 millions of connected. Definitely, China is rising and the power is being redistributed, even (or maybe above all) on Internet.
- Information Geographies at the Oxford internet Institute
- The Atlantic, “Age of Internet Empires: One Map With Each Country’s Favorite Website”, Robinson Meyer
- Le Mouv’, “Le monde vu selon le web”, Sébastien Sabiron
Etudiant en droit de l’économie numérique, europhile convaincu et concerné par la révolution numérique, les questions de cybersécurité, de protection des données personnelles et de sociologie humain-machine.