Web geography

Web Geography and Statistics


Cyber-Geography is a consideration of the spatial nature of computer communications systems, especially the Web, the World-Wide Web and other electronic "places" that exist behind our computer screens, famously referred to as the Internet.

Cyber-Geography covers a wide variety of geological wonders, from thinking about the physical base, the activity sources, the socio economics of modern Internet societies, to the identification and representation of these unused advanced spaces.



"Cyber Geography is the study of the spatial nature of computer communications networks, particularly the internet, the World-Wide Web and other electronic "places" that exist behind our computer screens, popularly referred to as cyberspace. Cyber geography encompasses a wide range of geographical phenomena from the study of the physical infrastructure, traffic flows, the demographics of the new cyberspace communities, to the perception and visualisation of these new digital spaces. In addition, the potential geographical impacts of Cyberspace technologies on real-space needs to be examined. There are many geographies of cyberspace and many geographical approaches to study them [Martin Dodge, Cybergeography Research].

Atlas of Cyberspaces, An
A visualization study of internet traffic, undertaken by Donna Cox and Robert Patterson from the NCSA in 1992. These maps of Cyberspaces - cybermaps - help us visualise and comprehend the new digital landscapes on our computer screen and in the wires of the global communications networks, aiding our navigation to our information destinations. The cybermaps in this atlas have been created by 'cyber-explorers' from many different disciplines from all around the world. Great stuff that feeds your imagination.


Information Rich - Information Poor
In this special report, BBC News Online probes the growing gap between the information richt and information poor. How big is it? Why? And how are individuals and communities around the globae trying to bridge the digital divide?


  • Courses on Web Geography (SocioSite)
  • CyberAtlas
    Information on size (how many people on the internet?), geographics (who's on the internet in the US?), demographics (how big is the internet?) and usage patterns. CyberAtlas gathers online research from the best data resources to provide a complete review of the latest surveys and technologies available. The site provides valuable statistics and Web marketing information.
  • Cybergeography Research
    Cyberspace has many geographies. An initiative by Martin Dodge, a geographer and cyberspace explorer (Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London). The site provides:
    • An Atlas of Cyberspaces
      An atlas of maps and graphic representations of the geographies of the new electronic territories of the internet, the World-Wide Web and other emerging Cyberspaces. These maps of Cyberspaces - cybermaps - help us visualise and comprehend the new digital landscapes beyond our computer screen, in the wires of the global communications networks and vast online information resources. The cybermaps, like maps of the real-world, help us navigate the new information landscapes, as well being objects of aesthetic interest. They have been created by 'cyber-explorers' of many different disciplines, and from all corners of the world. Although some maps will appear familiar, using the cartographic conventions of real-world maps, many of the maps are much more abstract representations of electronic spaces, using new metrics and grids. The atlas comprises fourteen pages, covering different types of cybermaps. There's also a EuropeanAustralian/Asia PacificItalian, and French Mirror.
    • The Geography of Cyberspace Directory
      Resources that help you understand the nature and geography of Cyberspace. Contains: tools for mapping the internet, internet network topology maps, visualising WWW space, internet connectivity, internet traffic and size statistics, WWW demographics and auditiong. Collected by: Martin Dodge.
    • Current Cyber-Geography Research Bulletin
      An free update bulletin, via email, to interested readers of the Web pages on the "Geography of Cyberspace" and an "Atlas of Cyberspaces". Update bulletins are emailed out a regularly to inform readers of significant changes made to these Web pages. Martin Dodge knows how to please his readers.


Information on the number of domains currently registered, specified by global domains (such as .com and .org) and by country (such as .jp and .fr).


  • Falling Through the Net: Defining the Digital Divide
    A U.S. Department of Commerce study examining which American households have access to telephones, computers, and the internet, and which do not. It explains how the information revolution is affecting the nation. The report provides evidence that the "digital divide" between certain demographic groups and regions continues to persist and in many cases is widening significantly. The "haves" have only become more information-rich, while the "have nots" (e.g., households with lower incomes, lower education levels, those under age 25, and certain minorities) are lagging even further behind. As a result, the gap between these groups - the digital divide - has grown over time. "We should be alarmed by this news. ... Both the government and the private sector must embrace policies and initiatives that bridge the divide." [William M. Daley].
  • Forrester Research
    Presents surveys on who is using the internet, and what they are doing. Concentrates on Europe.



GVU's WWW User Surveys
All results of GVU (Graphics, Visualization, & Usability) are made free to the public as well as access to the collected datasets, though certain restrictions do apply. Since 1994, the WWW User Survey has accumulated a store of historical and up-to-date information on the growth and trends in internet usages.


  • Hermes
    A research project on the commercial uses of internet. Hermes tries to understand why customers and businesses decide to try, use and provide commercial resources on the WWW. It also tries to develop a reliable methodology to track and predict important customer and corporate trends. They provide commerce related information to the Web community.
  • Horrigan, John, B. [2001]
    New Internet Users: What They Do Online, What They Don't, and Implications for the 'Net's Future
    With internet penetration at about half of all Americans, new users will be coming online for some time into the future, while the internet itself continues to evolve. Tomorrow's new user will not be like today's, just as today's new user differs from yesterday's. This paper compares new users surveyed in a March 2000 poll to those from a November 1996 poll, and it examines what types of activities people pusue in the two time periods.
  • Human Development Reports, The - UN Development Programme
    The 1999 report contains useful information and statistics on the global diffusion of the internet.



  • International Data Corporation (IDC)
    Provices data on e-commeren, the internet, and information technology.
  • Internet Performance Measurement and Analysis project (IPMA)
    The IPMA is a partnership between the University of Michigan (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) and Merit Network. The project studies the performance of networks and networking protocols in local and wide-area networks.
  • Internet Statistics
    Statistics on the number of hosts and other data from the DNS in Europe. The first of the monthly hostcounts was in October, 1990. Presented by the Ripe Network Coordination Centre.
  • Internet Service Providers
    • Board Watch
      A directory of Internet Service Providers.
    • List
      A list of Internet Service Providers. You can find one of the ISP's by area code, by country code, in the United States or in Canada.
    • Matrix Information and Directory Services, Inc. (MIDS)
      They examine the composition, content, and users of the internet and other networks in the Matrix of all computers worldwide that exchange electronic mail. And they present that information textually, graphically, and geographically. However, most of their materials are not free available.
    • Netologie @ door.ch
      An internet-survey in the Kanton Zürich (Switzerland). Includes sociodemographics and attitudes of users.
    • theDirectory
      Find an ISP by selecting an area code or country.
  • Internet World Stats
    Internet usage data for countries and regions, consolidated from various periodic surveys.


JMS Communications
Internet Demographics and Marketing Information
A survey about reading, browsing and research habits of internet users. The survey asks questions about the person, the computer environment and which medias are used to get specific information (e.g. meta-physical information).



Longan, Michael W. [1997]
Geography, Community and Cyberspace
Presented at the 1997 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers. He argues that the construction of localized community sites in the global realm of cyberspace is in part a response to processes of globalization and uneven development. "Specifically community computer networks, are productions of scale which by facilitating communication beyond a locale, serve to help integrate a community into the global economy and which, by facilitating increased avenues of communication within a locale, constitute resistance to processes of globalization." For geographers who want to contribute to research and debates about what this virtual territory will become, the issuses of scale that it presents are of particular relevance. "The conscious construction of scale in cyberspace helps to illustrate the ways in which scale in all kinds of spaces is actively produced and contested. ... Currently though, geographers do not have the conceptual language to adequately deal with ideas about scale and spatial differentiation."


Matrix.Net: Internet Growth Graphs
John Quarterman and colleagues are leader in the mapping and analysis of the geography of the internet.


  • NetWatch
    A weekly newsletter covering internet statistics, backbone and ISP performance, most popular web sites, internet related news and more.
  • Network Wizards
    They are responsible for the Internet Domain Survey that counts up number of hosts and domains worldwide. The survey has been taken twice a year since 1987.
  • Nielsen//NetRatings: Global Internet Trends
  • Nua Internet Surveys
    An excellent source for internet trends. The site contains a wealth of data on all aspects of the internet: business (advertising, careers, entertainment, portals etc.), society (abuse, censorship, privacy, online communities, security issues etc.), demographics (research on internet use by different categories), technical data (surveys by world region).


Oguibe, Olu [1996]
Forsaken Geographies - Cyberspace and the New World 'Other'
Originally presented at the 5th International Cyberspace Conference, Madrid, June 1996.


Pew Internet & American Life
Reports on the internet's growth and societal impact based opun research, surveys, and analysis.


Rötzer, Florian [2000]
Das Web ist nicht eng vernetzt
The 'fly theory' demonstrates that only a small part of the Web is strongly interconnected.


Sørenssen, Bjørn
Let your finger do the walking : The space/place metaphor in on-line computer communications
IAMCR / CTP Conference, 18-22 August 1996, Sydney, Australia.
A critical exploration of the use of recurring metaphors (such as "cyberspace") about and around the internet. As there seems to be place left for a few more metaphors, Sørenssen names them "netaphors". Most of these "netaphors" refer to spatial practices. Why?


  • TeleGeography
    Publishes an annual statistical guide to international internet infrastructure. The complex data sets are transformed into attractive posters for hanging on your wall.
  • Treese, Win
    The Internet Index
    An occasional collection of facts and statistics about the internet and related activities.


Volken, Thomas [2002] - University of Zurich, Switzerland
Elements of Trust: The Cultural Dimension of Internet Diffusion Revisited
In: Electronic Journal of Sociology, 6(4).
Trust is a cultural resource that acts as a lubricant for transactions and fosters economic growth. But it also facilitates innovative actions. Bornschier has found strong empirial evidence taht generalized trust is a necessary precondition for successful technological change. The thesis of Volken's paper is that institutional properties (trust in systems) —rather than interpersonal generalized trust— substantially account for the differences in the diffusion of ICT, not only between the Eastern European transformation societies, but between developed societies as well. This thesis is based on data of 47 contries from the World Values Survey and other sources.


Warschauer, Mark [2002]
Reconceptualizing the Digital Divide


  • Zooknic
    An internet geography project - started by Matthew Zook - that tries to understand and analyse the internet through the development of metrics on its use and composition. The site offers some interesting articles on the diffusion and use of the internet.

Geographical Software

  • Internet Cartographer
    An advanced browser assistant that helps you understand and manage the WWW.
  • NeoTrace
    A graphical traceroute with integrated whois and ping. Popular instrument for detecting network problems and finding net information. The program shows how packets get from your computer by displaying all nodes between your computer and the trace target.


Google Scholar - Stand on the shoulders of giants

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