Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Interactive Wikipedia mapping tool

We know by now that all online platforms have distinct, and highly uneven, geographies. Wikipedia is no exception: and we therefore decided to make a tool that would allow people to explore what, and where, the world's most popular encyclopedia represents. 

The tool, made by the excellent team at TraceMedia, as well as the Oxford Internet Institute's Bernie Hogan, and myself (Mark Graham) can be accessed at the following link

The tool is built as part of our project to study participation and representation on Wikipedia in the Middle East and North Africa. It currently allows you to explore the geography of all geotagged Wikipedia articles in Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, English, Farsi, French, Hebrew and Swahili. It also allows mapping of a range of metrics including the word count of an article, date created, number of authors, and number of images. 

A few screenshots of the tool are below. You can also read more about how it was built, or simply start playing. The tool is still work in progress, and there is a lot to add and fix, but we hope it is useful in the meantime!


Julien said...

On Twitter i asked Mark whether it was possible to estimate or at least say smth about the ratio of non-geolocated articles for a given geography vs the total number of articles for that geography? The super-question is to understand whether geolocated articles for a given geography is somehow representative of the total nb of articles for that geography.

Mark sent me to http://www.zerogeography.net/2012/02/where-do-wikipedia-edits-come-from.html but i guess my question was poorly asked on 140-chars twitter. Or i don't see how to relate the geolocation of users/editors vs that of articles.

Mark Graham said...

Thanks Julien. We should have a rough answer to that question in the next few months by analysing the location of Wikipedia users (using natural language processing). In the meantime, it is hard to say whether the ratio of geotagged to non-geotagged articles varies over place. At the moment we can only make this comparison at the global level.

Geocrusader80 said...

Do you know if there is a way to export the point layers with attributes to an excel file or shapefile?

Mark Graham said...

Not yet I'm afraid. But you can access all of the raw data we used from the Wikipedia data dumps: http://dumps.wikimedia.org/