This is a Real Time Map of Wikipedia Changes

Who are the people who edit Wikipedia and where do they come from? Here is a real-time map to answer that question

Map by Hatnote

Who are these people who edit Wikipedia, and where do they come from? The answer to this question matters: It was these editors who decided, for instance, to remove women from the “American novelists” category.

This real-time map gives some indication of who’s making these judgment calls. The map shows unregistered users making contributions to Wikipedia. The project creators explain:

When an unregistered user makes a contribution to Wikipedia, he or she is identified by his or her IP address. These IP addresses are translated to the contributor’s approximate geographic location. A study by Fabian Kaelin in 2011 noted that unregistered users make approximately 20% of the edits on English Wikipedia , so Wikipedia’s stream of recent changes includes many other edits that are not shown on this map.

You can download more about how they built the map here at Github. Or you can just sit there and become totally mesmerized by the little dots that pop up as people all over the world add to, change, delete and edit one of the most commonly used works of reference in the world.

More from Smithsonian.com:

How Many Women Does It Take to Change Wikipedia?
In Honor of Wikipedia’s Near-Completion, Here Are Its Most Awesomely Weird Entries