Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mapping Twitter in African cities

Building on the last post (a map of Tweets in Nairobi), I'd like to show a few more visualisations of information densities in other African cities.

Below, you can find maps of all geocoded tweets published in November 2012 in Accra, Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tunis, Nairobi, Kigali, Mogadishu, and Addis Ababa.

Look for the information presences and absences; groups of people who are and aren't participating in each city. But also look at the significant differences between cities. Cities like Nairobi, Cairo, and Cape Town are swimming in thick clouds of information, whereas in Mogadishu and Addis Ababa we barely find any digital geospatial information at all. 

If you're interested in why these geographies of information might matter, then check out any the articles at the end of this post. Otherwise, enjoy the maps - and please share any insights you have about any of these cities (or let me know if there are other cities that you'd like to see mapped).










  



Relevant articles:

Graham, M. 2013. Virtual Geographies and Urban Environments: Big data and the ephemeral, augmented city. In Global City Challenges: debating a concept, improving the practice. eds. M. Acuto and W. Steele. London: Palgrave. (in press).

Graham, M and M. Zook. 2013. Augmented Realities and Uneven Geographies: Exploring the Geo-linguistic Contours of the Web. Environment and Planning A 45(1) 77-99.

Graham, M., M. Zook., and A. Boulton. 2012. Augmented Reality in the Urban Environment: contested content and the duplicity of code. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00539.x  

14 comments:

Adam Oxford said...

Awesome maps Mark. Scariest thing they show is the number of people who are apparently tweeting and driving in the busy cities. Wonder if that's the same in places with tougher traffic enforcement?

Anonymous said...

Great Visualization! I wonder if you have also visualizations of cities in Latinamerica?

Mark Graham said...

Not yet, but we can try to pull the data and make some.

@Adam: good point! Let's look into this in somewhere like Zurich, Hamburg or even LA perhaps.

Adam Oxford said...

There's another thing that looks really interesting in there Mark - looking at the map of Johannesburg (the city I know best out of these) it looks like there's a really dense cluster over Alexandra township (slightly hard to tell at this resolution, but I'm sure I'm not mistaken). That would definitely be surprising, since the general assumption is that Twitter is primarily the tool of the middle class, while Facebook and Mxit.

Adam Oxford said...

are more commonly used by those without data plans, is the missing end to that sentence...

Asiya Wadud said...

I'd also be curious to see a content analysis of what people are Tweeting about in these various cities... or a analysis over time (for example how Tweets increase or decrease during election season). These are great maps!

[subject to change] said...

Great visualizations. Another factor is the city density and for straight across comparison sake, are the maps at the same scale?

Mark Graham said...

I should point out that they are at different scales. The size difference between some of this cities meant that trying to map them all at the same scale was useless. But I think they still give a sense of the variable amount of usage in, and between, different places.

UNISDR said...

Interesting density maps - it would be good to know what is being said. Could be used to analyze and understand opportunities for risk reduction measures if those are concerns of citizens.

Anonymous said...

What is the scale of each map? There seem to be different ones.

Anonymous said...

Interesting maps . This is however only from mobile device right ? Not everyone enables GPS . Meaning location fed to twitter is approximate based on the telco base station location..

Mark Graham said...

Most will be from mobiles (location via GPS or signal triangulation). But I think some browsers also allow geolocation.

Ab Dou La Ye said...

@Adam urban areas signal triangulation is still pretty good , precision ~ 50meters... What I find interesting in your map rich/well-off/Expats areas are not most active twitting areas..

Anonymous said...

Anyone for Douala, Cameroon?