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What explains the worldwide patterns in user-generated geographical content?

What explains the worldwide patterns in user-generated geographical content?

How do we explain the significant inequalities in the geography of user-generated information? Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, shows that a large part of the country-level variation can be explained by just three factors. Read the full paper: Graham, M., Hogan, B., Straumann, R.K., and Medhat, A. (2014) Uneven Geographies of User-Generated Information: Patterns of Increasing Informational Poverty (Annals Assoc. Amer. Geog.).

What is stopping greater representation of the MENA region?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. Despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world. Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, explores the potential barriers faced by Wikipedia editors from the MENA region.

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How well represented is the MENA region in Wikipedia?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, shows the MENA region tends to be massively underrepresented on Wikipedia — not just in major world languages, but also in its own: Arabic. Despite Wikipedia’s openness, it may simply be reproducing worldviews and knowledge created in the Global North at the expense of the Global South.

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The sum of (some) human knowledge: Wikipedia and representation in the Arab World

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the periphery. There are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project Mapping and measuring local knowledge production and representation in the Middle East and North Africa, explores this phenomenon through one of the region’s most visible and most accessed sources of content: Wikipedia.

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Mapping the Local Geographies of Digital Inequality in Britain

The Internet has fundamentally reorganised economic, social and political actions and relationships around the world, and yet we know surprisingly little about the geography of Internet use and participation at sub-national scales. OII Fellow Grant Blank discusses how by combining data from the 2013 Oxford Internet Survey (OxIS) and the 2011 UK census, small area estimation techniques can be used to estimate Internet use at the local level in Britain, offering a never-before seen look at the local geographies of Internet usage.

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Edit wars! Measuring and mapping society’s most controversial topics

Wikipedia is more than just an encyclopaedia; it is also a window into convergent and divergent social-spatial priorities, interests and preferences: aka Edit Wars. In his chapter (with Anselm Spoerri, Mark Graham, and János Kertész) The most controversial topics in Wikipedia: A multilingual and geographical analysis, the OII’s Taha Yasseri uses a quantitative measure to locate and analyse the similarities and differences between the most controversial topics identified in 10 language versions of Wikipedia, finding that a quarter relate to politics.

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Who represents the Arab world online?

There are obvious gaps in access to the Internet, particularly the participation gap between those who have their say, and those whose voices are pushed to the sidelines. OII Research Fellow Mark Graham, PI of a project examining representation of the Arab world online discusses how despite the rapid increase in Internet access, there are indications that people in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain largely absent from websites and services that represent the region to the larger world.

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Mapping the uneven geographies of information worldwide

The Internet is argued to enable democratisation of information production, but we know remarkably little about contemporary geographies of knowledge, and how these information landscapes are changing over time — including who is or isn’t represented. OII researchers Mark Graham and Steffano De Sabbata are mapping these geographies of knowledge, drawing on primary and secondary data to examine key facets of global information geographies — access, information production, and information representation.

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Crowdsourcing translation during crisis situations: are ‘real voices’ being excluded from the decisions and policies it supports?

International NGOs and government actors have embraced crowdsourcing to manage the flood of information produced during crisis. However, when crowdsourced material crosses the language barrier into English, it often becomes inaccessible to the original contributors. Gwyneth Sutherlin is a doctoral student at the University of Bradford, where she writes about the intersection of foreign policy, language and technology. Her paper “A Voice in the Crowd: Broader Implications for Crowdsourcing Translation during Crisis” which looks at the policy implications of recent crisis mapping efforts, is published in the Journal of Information Science.

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Did Libyan crisis mapping create usable military intelligence?

Policy and Internet author Steve Stottlemyre discusses how users of online social networks took the initiative in collecting and processing data for use in the rebellion against the Qadhafi regime during the Libyan civil war of February-October 2011. He describes how some of the information crowd-sourced by crisis mappers – whether they knew it or not – met the minimum requirements to be considered tactical military intelligence, in accordance with U.S. joint military intelligence doctrine.

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