Internet Geographer


Posts tagged big data
Rethinking the Geoweb and Big Data: Future Research Directions

This short chapter is a reflection on future directions that research on the geoweb and big data could take. It is derived from a reflection that the editors of this volume asked me to provide to a session on the geoweb and big data at the 2014 meeting of the Association of American Geographers.

You can read the full piece here:

Graham, M. 2018. Rethinking the Geoweb and Big Data: Future Research Directions. In Thinking Big Data in Geography: New Regimes, New Research. Thatcher, J., Eckert, J., and Shears, A. (eds). University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln. 231-236.

Work with me at the Oxford Internet Institute: we’re hiring a Data Scientist / Data Hacker

Data Scientist/Data Hacker

Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford

Grade 7: £31,076 – £38,183 p.a.

The Oxford Internet Institute is a leading centre for research into individual, collective and institutional behaviour on the Internet. We seek a full-time Data Scientist to work with Professor Mark Graham on two projects: (1) the University of Oxford funded incubator on ‘big data and human development’, which seeks to understand how we can address key issues in development with computational approaches; (2) the European Research Council funded Geonet project which seeks to map and measure the geographies of the internet.

In this exciting role, the researcher will work with small teams from around the university on short development-related projects. They will be in charge of collecting data via APIs, web scraping, and collaborations with platform owners, apply standard statistical analyses as well as bespoke computational analyses to address questions of economic, social, and policy relevance, and produce eye-catching visualisations of the results. They will also contribute to the dissemination of the findings through academic publications, reports, presentations, and social media.

The position is suited to candidates who have recently completed a postgraduate degree in computer science, GIS, economics, quantitative geography or sociology or other relevant discipline. Good programming skills and an interest in economic development are required.

Based at the Oxford Internet Institute, this position is available immediately for 12 months, in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter, funding permitting.

To apply for this role and for further details, including a job description, please click on the link below.

Only applications received before 12.00 midday on Monday 12 December 2016 can be considered. Interviews for those short-listed are currently planned to take place on week commencing 16 January 2017.

Cross-posted from Geonet: Investigating the Changing Connectivities and Potentials of Sub-Saharan Africa's Knowledge Economy

Philip Leverhulme Award: Internet Geographies

I am extremely happy to report the news that I have been awarded one of the 2016 Philip Leverhulme prizes!

I hope to use the resources offered by the Leverhulme Trust to extend my research into information and internet geographies.  This line of research asks who and where is made more powerful and given more voice by the new digital layers of place that augment the places that we live in, and who and where tends to get silenced and excluded. In previous research we have seen some of the ways in which the digital can amplify and strengthen those already in global informational cores. But, as ever more people get connected to the internet, we need to know more about what sort of change we’re seeing over time.

Going forwards, this will mean hiring a postdoc trained in some flavour of computational social science/ GIS/ big data/ quantitative geography to work with me  I’ll be posting a job ad soon, but in the meantime please get in touch if you’re interested in working with me on such topics.

It really is a massive honour to have this award and to have the opportunity to use it to further some of our ongoing work. None of this would have been possible without the help of some of my brilliant and  smart collaborators over the last few years. As part of the immediate group of researchers that I’ve supervised at the OII, I’ve had the luck to work closely with Sanna Ojanpera, Nicolas Friederici, Amir Anwar,  Isis Hjorth, Alex Wood, Chris Foster, Stefano De Sabbata, Ralph Straumann, Heather Ford, Joe Shaw, Nisa Haji Ibrahim, Devin Gaffney, Charlotte Smart, Caludio Calvino, Ahmed Medhat, David Palfrey, Richard Farnbrough, Ning Wang, Tessy Onaji, and David Peter Simon: all of whom have played an important part in designing, carrying out, and publishing our scholarship. I also have a broader network of collaborators that I’ve also had the fortune to directly research and publish with: Matt Zook, Monica Stephens, Taylor Shelton, Ate Poorthuis, Bill Dutton, Bernie Hogan, Vili Lehdonvirta, Helena Barnard, Tim Waema, Charles Katua, Casper Andersen, Shilad Sen, Andrea Ballatore, Grant Blank, Scott Hale, Taha Yasseri, Illhem Allagui, Andrew Boulton, Jaz Choi, Han-Teng Liao, Felix Akorli, Grace Illah, Claude Bizimana, Havard Haarstad, Ralph Schroeder, Greg Taylor, Matt Wilson, Jeremy Crampton, Stann Brunn, Sean Gorman, Eduardo Lopez, Iginio Gagliardone, Emmanouil Tranos, Jim Thatcher, Dorothea Kleine, Richard Heeks, Padraig Carmody, and Rina Ghose (apologies if I have missed anyone out).  

Just typing out that list of names made me realise how truly incredible the last few years have been, and what a privilege it is to get to work with so many people from such a diverse range of backgrounds. And this list doesn’t even include all of the other people who have helped along the way (such as the ever-helpful support staff at Oxford).

I didn’t intend for such a long post about this award, but once I started to write it became clear that there is no way to say ‘thanks’ for this award without thanking all of the people in my network who actually made it possible.


Mapping Flickr

Flickr is one of the world’s most popular photo sharing websites, and represents a key way in which people form impressions about different parts of our planet. In other words it is an important part of the digital augmentations of places

Antonello Romano has been doing some great work mapping content from the site, and I’ve pulled some of his data together into this map. What we see are huge differences in the amount of images augmenting different parts of the world. To anyone familiar with some of our previous research, this will be unsurprising. But it is again perhaps the scale of some of these differences that never ceases to astound. 

I’ve shaded each country as a percentage of the USA’s total rather than as absolute numbers, so that this digital information inequality can be better visualised. You can see, for instance, that there are only five countries in Africa that have more than 0.1% of the USA’s total number of photos about them. 

These geographies of information matter: they shape what is known, and what can be known about a place. And even in our age of connectivity, large parts of the planet remain left off the map.