:::: wikipedia’s display of the offline space

7 Dec

Mark Graham has mapped about the half a million geotagged Wikipedia articles (regardless which language version) and presents the rather unsurprinsing finding, that there is an uneven construction of the world in the Wikipedia online space. The country most tags refer to is the United States, in contrast almost all countries of Africa are almost invisible on Wikipedia in terms of geotagging. Also, he states a clear Global South/North divide. Against this backdrop, Graham daws a sober-critical conclusion:

In other words, presences and absences play a fundamental role in shaping how we interpret and interact with the world. The fact that the geographies of Wikipedia content are so uneven therefore leads to worrying conclusions. As we increasingly rely on peer produced information, large parts of the worldremain ‘terra incognita’ (in a similar manner to the ways in which many of those same places were represented on European maps before the 19th Century). (Source: Zero Geography; Graham has also published an article in the Guardian)

So are we heading again in the debate of digital divides and information inequalities?


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