Mapping the GeoNames Gazetteer
Stefano De Sabbata and I recently finished mapping the GeoNames Gazetteer, and you can see the full description of results and our maps at the OII’s Internet Geography website.
Gazetteers are frequently employed to geocode information from news or social network streams, and GeoNames is one of the largest and most frequently used dictionaries. A more detailed representation of areas afflicted by conflict or disasters may therefore result in these topics being found to be disproportionately prominent in datasets. Similarly, areas that are characterized by very few geographic representations are likely to become stuck in a vicious cycle of informational inequalities. By not appearing in the gazetteers themselves, they are unlikely to ever become present and visible in other geocoded datasets.