Realtime map of anonymous edits to Wikipedia

Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi's "Wikipedia Recent Changes Map" plots anonymous edits to Wikipedia on a world-map in realtime, based on the location of the user (only anonymous users are identified by IP address, so they're the only ones whose locations can be estimated). It's a hypnotic view into Wikipedia's casual users and vandals, as well as unobservant users like (I often forget that I'm logged out until after my edit, and have to go back and add an attribution).

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 [edit: likely closer to 15%, according to more recent statistics], so Wikipedia’s stream of recent changes includes many other edits that are not shown on this map.

You may see some users add non-productive or disruptive content to Wikipedia. A survey in 2007 indicated that unregistered users are less likely to make productive edits to the encyclopedia. Do not fear: improper edits can be removed or corrected by other users, including you!

This map listens to live feeds of Wikipedia revisions, broadcast using wikimon. We built the map using a few nice libraries and services, including d3, DataMaps, and This project was inspired by WikipediaVision’s (almost) real-time edit visualization.

Wikipedia Recent Changes Map


  1. This is a fantastic way to spot edits in need of reversion. Like this one:

    1.  Haven’t laughed that hard since someone changed Leslie Neilsen’s page to reflect that after years of battle, he had finally fallen to his biggest enemy, Skeletor. Stayed up for about 15 minutes and I wish like hell I had screen-capped it.

  2. Ha ha, New Zealanders can make as many anonymous edits as they like, and no one will ever know because we don’t exist!

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