Internet Geographer


Posts tagged nairobi
Mapping Twitter in African cities
Building on the last post (a map of Tweets in Nairobi), I’d like to show a few more visualisations of information densities in other African cities.

Below, you can find maps of all geocoded tweets published in November 2012 in Accra, Cairo, Dar es Salaam, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Lagos, Tunis, Nairobi, Kigali, Mogadishu, and Addis Ababa.

Look for the information presences and absences; groups of people who are and aren’t participating in each city. But also look at the significant differences between cities. Cities like Nairobi, Cairo, and Cape Town are swimming in thick clouds of information, whereas in Mogadishu and Addis Ababa we barely find any digital geospatial information at all. 

If you’re interested in why these geographies of information might matter, then check out any the articles at the end of this post. Otherwise, enjoy the maps - and please share any insights you have about any of these cities (or let me know if there are other cities that you’d like to see mapped).


Relevant articles:

Graham, M. 2013. Virtual Geographies and Urban Environments: Big data and the ephemeral, augmented city. In Global City Challenges: debating a concept, improving the practice. eds. M. Acuto and W. Steele. London: Palgrave. (in press).

Graham, M and M. Zook. 2013. Augmented Realities and Uneven Geographies: Exploring the Geo-linguistic Contours of the Web. Environment and Planning A 45(1) 77-99.

Graham, M., M. Zook., and A. Boulton. 2012. Augmented Reality in the Urban Environment: contested content and the duplicity of code. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2012.00539.x  

Where do tweets in Nairobi come from?

Earlier I posted a map of tweets about the Kenyan presidential debate that showed a distinct geography of information about the event. Doing so made me wonder about the broader patterns of information production in Nairobi through Twitter.

So (with the help of Adham Tamer and Ning Wang), I pulled a database of all geocoded tweets published from Kenya in the entire month of November and plotted them onto a streetmap of Nairobi. The result is a bit messy, but clearly shows cores and peripheries of information production in the city. The CBD for instance is blanketed in a layer of information, whereas Kibera (which is the largest urban slum in Africa) barely has any content at all produced from it.