Digital divides: Geolocated tweets in African cities

Original articles here and here.

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.

Nairobi Nov Cairo Cape Town NovMogadishu Nov Addis Nov

Here are some more from Francophone Africa: Algiers, Bamako, Abidjan, Nouakchott, Kinshasa, Ougadougou, Libreville, Dakar, Conkary, and Douala.

Compared to places like Cairo, Johannesburg, or Nairobi, we see very little activity in most of these cities – with the notable exception of Abidjan.

Algiers Nov Conkary Nov Dakar NovAbidjan Nov

Remember that we are only mapping geocoded tweets here. But these patterns might nonetheless give us a very crude indication of some of the distinct geographies of contemporary digital divides.


Related publication by the authors:

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.