IX.8 Who Really Matters in the World—Leadership Networks in Different-Language Wikipedias

Languages: English | Español | Deutsch | Polski

Peter A. Gloor

Keiichi Nemoto

Samuel T. Mills

David E. Polley

Articles about people in Wikipedia include many social cues about a particular person. In the English Wikipedia there is a category called “Living People” which includes articles of people currently alive. To construct the social network of living people, computer scientists Peter A. Gloor and Keiichi Nemoto collected each article’s contents and extracted the internal links to other living people articles. Similar to the Google page rank algorithm, this linking structure reveals which person is more prominent from the Wikipedians’ perspective. The ratio between in-degree and out-degree was used as a metric of importance for the popularity, power, or importance of the person described in the article. Shown here are networks from eight different-language Wikipedias of people who were still living as of 2011. The geospatial regions where these languages are spoken are color-coded (see world map, table, and networks). Because the size of the original networks was too large, only people articles having more than a predefined number of incoming links are included, in addition to peripheral articles that have a direct link to them. To animate the evolution of the English Wikipedia network, living people articles were collected and analysed for different points in time. To explore the networks interactively, visit http://www.ickn.org/wikimaps.


Gloor, Peter A., Keiichi Nemoto, Samuel T. Mills, and David E. Polley. 2013. Who Really Matters in the World--Leadership Networks in Different-Language Wikipedias. Cambridge, MA, and Bloomington, IN. Courtesy of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Fuji Xerox, the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, and Sar Haidar. In “9th Iteration (2013): Science Maps Showing Trends and Dynamics,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Todd N. Theriault. http://scimaps.org.

Kleeb, Reto, Peter A. Gloor, Keiichi Nemoto, and Michael Henninger. 2012. "Wikimaps: Dynamic Maps of Knowledge." International Journal of Organisational Design and Engineering 2 (2): 204-224.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.