The Weakest Links

A Hyperlink Index Map of Country-to-Country Internet Linkages.

577200_091110_WeakestLinks5.jpg
577200_091110_WeakestLinks5.jpg

This map shows actual counts of country-to-country linkages among 245 countries on the World Wide Web. Rather than counting the servers in a country, this map emphasizes relationships between countries. A low hyperlink index (HI) number indicates that a country has relative parity in the number of inbound and outbound hyperlinks with another given country and that it produces as much information through its own auspices as it gathers from others. The opposite is true of countries with large HI numbers, which have a disproportionate number of links that take users outside their nations.

The country with the lowest HI number is Brazil. Nauru (in Oceania) and Somalia have the two largest HI numbers. Offshore banking and military bases help explain the large HI numbers characteristic of islands like Nauru. Africa's marbled look reflects varied colonial pasts and uneven development. In Europe, the Swiss produce little information for public consumption. Sensitive banking data stored on servers in Switzerland helps to explain the country's high HI number. Countries in dark red, like North Korea, have no HI due to a total absence of incoming links.

This map shows actual counts of country-to-country linkages among 245 countries on the World Wide Web. Rather than counting the servers in a country, this map emphasizes relationships between countries. A low hyperlink index (HI) number indicates that a country has relative parity in the number of inbound and outbound hyperlinks with another given country and that it produces as much information through its own auspices as it gathers from others. The opposite is true of countries with large HI numbers, which have a disproportionate number of links that take users outside their nations.

The country with the lowest HI number is Brazil. Nauru (in Oceania) and Somalia have the two largest HI numbers. Offshore banking and military bases help explain the large HI numbers characteristic of islands like Nauru. Africa’s marbled look reflects varied colonial pasts and uneven development. In Europe, the Swiss produce little information for public consumption. Sensitive banking data stored on servers in Switzerland helps to explain the country’s high HI number. Countries in dark red, like North Korea, have no HI due to a total absence of incoming links.

NOTES: The number of countries in each Hyperlink Index category appear in parentheses. HI = (OL/IL) * 1000; OL = a state’s total number of outgoing top-level domain (TLD) server links; IL = a state’s total number of incoming TLD server links. Server exclusions include noncountry counts, .com, .edu., .gov, .info, .mil, .net, and .org. Only domains that could be directly tied to countries were included. SOURCE: Data mined from the World Wide Web via the AltaVista search engine, July 2002

Tobie Saad is a geography graduate student at the University of Kentucky. Stanley D. Brunn is professor of geography at the University of Kentucky. Jeff House is a software engineer at Microsoft Corp.

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