Have you ever wanted to see all the people online around the world, in one map?
It's your lucky day:
You can thank Ralph Straumann and Mark Graham of the Oxford Internet Institute for this map. And technically it's more of a "hexogonal cartogram" -- each tiny hexogram represents around 470,000 people online in each country. The shading shows what percentage of the population is connected, with the darkest red representing countries with the highest Internet access rates.
The visualization was built using World Bank data from 2013. As you can see, nearly half of the world's Internet users live in Asia. China boasts the world's single largest online population, even though a far smaller percentage of its total population uses the Internet than in the United States and most of Western Europe. And India, despite a having a much lower Internet access rate than China, has the third largest total online population.
The map is actually an update of a visualization based on 2011 data:
There are a few key changes between the maps -- one is the darker coloring in many areas around the world in the more recent data, indicating that Internet access is growing. But there are other less obvious trends, such as what the researchers call "staggering growth" in Internet access in some African nations.
Still, there are an awful lot of pale parts of the map in Africa and elsewhere. "Even today, only a bit more than a third of humanity has access to the Internet," the researchers wrote in their analysis of the most recent visualization.