November 06, 2013

The Geography of Top Level Domain Names

Some of the sheep team have just published a new map over at the Information Geographies project. This one draws on some of Matt's long term research into the geography of domain names which dates back more than fifteen years.[1]   Egads, where did the time go?.

The map offers a detailed overview of one-facet of the geography of content production.  While not the normal kind of user generated data we use in our work at FloatingSheep, domain name registrations are an indicator of content production.

Some results are unsurprising (for instance the low scores in many countries that have low numbers of internet users). However, other unexpected patterns also reveal themselves (such as the relatively low numbers of domains in many Asian countries).  For a more detailed description of results take a look at the discussion on the map's Internet Geography home.

Also, to give some perspective on how much things have changed, here is map of .com domains in San Francisco (and zoomed into just the South of Market region) back in 1998 when there were less than 2 million rather than 110 million that exist today.

Distribution of .com domains by Registrant Address, San Francisco, Summer 1998
Source: Matthew Zook, 2005 (see below)

Distribution of .com domains by Registrant Address, 
South of Market, San Francisco, Summer 1998
(apologies for the low quality image, it is the only one available)
Source: Matthew Zook, (see below)
[1] If you are interested in reading more domain name work check out.

Zook, M.A. (2001). Old hierarchies or new networks of centrality? The global geography of the internet content marketAmerican Behavioral Scientist. (June). Vol 44. No. 10. 1679-1696.
Zook, M.A. (2000). The web of production: The economic geography of commercial internet content production in the United StatesEnvironment and Planning A. Vol. 32. 411-426.  

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