Internet Geographer


Posts tagged internet geography
The Right to the City: New Ebook from Verso

'Who is the city for?' That is the question tackled in a new (free) publication by Verso Books. Joe Shaw and I have a chapter in there. The blurb from Verso and links are below:

"In 1968, the French Marxist philosopher Henri Lefebvre wrote “Le Droite a la Ville” (“The Right to the City”), which has become one of the most essential texts in radical geography and urban studies. It transformed the way we think about urban life and the right to make and remake our cities, and ourselves. Fifty years on, the question of who is the city is for, and why, is more urgent than ever.

In this special ebook report (free to download!), some of the most important voices in the current debate on the right to city are gathered to debate what Lefebvre originally intended and what it might mean today within the neoliberal urban world. How these ideas help us to understand the contemporary struggle in housing; how to protest gentrification; the privatisation of public spaces; and the demand for places of self expression, and the security of home. The collection also explores how these ideas can be used in other fields—such as digital space and the Internet of Things.

Contributors include David Adler, Neil Brenner, Bradley Garrett, Andrea Gibbons, Huw Lemmey, David Madden & Peter Marcuse, Andy Merrifield, Anna Minton, Don Mitchell, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, Nina Power, Dubravka Sekulić, Joe Shaw & Mark Graham, and Alex Vasudevan."

Related links:

Shaw, J and Graham, M. (eds). 2017. Our Digital Rights to the City. London: Meatspace Press.

Shaw, J. and Graham, M. 2017. An Informational Right to the City? Code, Content, Control, and the Urbanization of InformationAntipode. 49(4) 907-927.  10.1111/anti.12312

Graham, M. and Shaw, J. 2017. An 'Informational Right to the City'?New Internationalist. Feb 8, 2017

Shaw, J and Graham, M. (eds). 2017. Il nostro diritto digitale alla città. Rome: Openpolis.

I co-wrote a song about Internet Geography: ' Use the Digital to Make the World you Want to See'

I recently co-wrote a song about my research (and my team's research) with the talented 'science troubadour', Jonny Berliner. The song, is essentially about why thinking about the geography of the Internet matters. It argues that an internet geography approach allows us to see a variety of digital inequalities, and it ends with some suggestions on what we can do to make the internet more equal and representative.

Jonny was a pleasure to work with, and it was incredible to go through the process of translating research into rhymes. Jonny of course played, recorded, and sung everything you'll hear on the track (I only take credit for some of the lyrics). Have a listen at the link below. It's a bluegrass song, by the way.

Graham, M., & Berliner, J. (2017). Use the Digital to Make the World you Want to See [MP3]. Oxford: University of Oxford (2016).


If you’re looking at a map, whether paper or an app,
It’ll tell you where to go from where you be,
The world is physical but it’s also digital,
So, we’ll think about web cartography,
All maps will tell a lie, and here’s the reason why,
They select the things they think that you should see,
So, the folks who make the map, control the way you interact,
With each other and your own locality.

What to think and what to do, where you should be going to,
We often ask the internet’s advice,
The advice that often sticks, is the first thing that we clicked,
When the search results are in you don’t think twice,
But internet geography, is allowing us to see,
Advice we get is always kinda skewed,
Breeding inequality, less opportunity,
And less voice for the folks who aren’t as viewed.

If you want to see more equality,
Recognise the internet’s physicality,
Question all the data, be a content generator,
Use the digital to make the world, the world that you want to see.

A web geographer will get themselves a code that scrapes the net,
And gives them data ‘bout the digital terrain,
For instance, Wikipedia has less on all of Africa,
Combined than can be found on the Ukraine,
Only 1 in 5 of edits on the Middle East are credited,
To the locals who are really in the know,
Do you want Google to determine, from the language that you searched in,
The things it thinks you most want it to show?

So, remember you should question, every digital suggestion,
And the algorithm that gave it to you,
If you’re too reliant, on the internet giants,
Your data gives them power to abuse,
Don’t be under-represented, and never be contented,
With a story someone else has made for you,
Making your own contributions makes the data distribution,
More inclusive of your truth and point of view.


Want to work with us at the Oxford Internet Institute? I'm hiring a Digital Geographer!

I am hiring a Digital Geographer to work with me at the Oxford Internet Institute for two years on a full-time contract (we'll also consider part-time options for the right person). 

My existing research (much of it with wonderful collaborators) has uncovered highly uneven digital geographies: with some parts of the world far more like to produce, and be represented by, digital content than others.

Thanks to a Philip Leverhulme Award, I'm hiring a Researcher to continue some of this research: to ask what has changed, and to ask new questions about digital inequalities at not just the global, but also the local scale.

We plan to ask and answer questions such as: what are the contemporary geographies of the production and consumption of digital knowledge-based economic activities?; what are the geographies of digital representations (such as content in Wikipedia or Google)?; how likely is digital content to be locally or non-locally produced?; and do digital representations produce or reproduce social and economic inequalities and divisions in our urban environments. If we accept that our cities are made up of digital as well as physical raw materials – we need to better understand who owns, controls, shapes, can access, and can remake the digital layers of place.

We plan on answering the above questions using methods from computational social science and GIS: scraping, mapping, and statistically analysing a diverse range of datasets. The position is suited to candidates who have recently completed a doctorate in Quantitative Geography, GIScience, Computer Science, Economics, Sociology or other relevant discipline (i.e. postdocs), but we also welcome applications from qualified individuals without a doctorate (e.g. candidates with industry experience). Programming skills, and experience with GIS are required. The successful candidate will ultimately work with me to produce a full-length monograph on the topic (amongst other types of outputs and publications).

To apply for this role and for further details, including a full job description, please follow this link.