Global distribution of Wikipedia edits

Erik Zachte, a data analyst at the Wikimedia Foundation, recently put together an impressive, interactive visualization showing the the worldwide distribution of Wikipedia edits. The map allows you to see the location of editors and the time they made each edit, over the course of a single day – currently May 10, 2011.

Wikipedia edits visualized, heat map

Various visualization options are available – an animated map, and two static maps highlighting the distribution of edits over the day. Further options let you switch between Wikipedia’s different language versions, and alter the map’s appearance.

Rather than using Flash or another proprietary platform, the map is designed to run directly in any modern web browser using HTML5 (canvas) and JavaScript. But if you can’t get it working, check out the video below:

The data driving the animation comes from Wikipedia’s squid logs, which contain details of approximately 400,000 edits per day. Erik has anonymized this to ensure editors can’t be identified. Read more about how it was put together at his blog.

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