By definition, the Internet is a global network connecting millions of computers. However, in the present day, it’s almost impossible to think about a life devoid of it. Things that were once non-existent and couldn’t have been imagined have now been integrated into our lives that include Cryptocurrency, Streaming services, and social media.
In addition to this, the COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled the digital world like never before. It’s this boon that has become a medium for people to share their feelings and connect with their family and friends. Not just that, the internet usage has increased tremendously while we’ve been locked in our houses.
Using Carto, I decided to analyze the global internet usage for the years 2018 and 2020. The dataset for the same was extracted from Kaggle and Wikipedia respectively. In a video tutorial of Carto, the one-liner used for the same said that it was “Where data met maps”, emphasizing on how important “When” ranks in the Wh questions.
It was observed that there was a considerable amount of growth in the use of the internet in 2020, especially in India where the number of users exceeded 700M in 2020!
For this topic, I drew inspiration from eclectic sources. While few were infographics online succinctly capturing the growth of internet over the years, few of them were interactive maps from Our World in Data.
Below is the example that I chose to draw inspiration from. It captures the production of Cassava across the world. The map lets you choose the year of your choice which can be helpful in capturing insights.
Choosing a topic
The internet has witnessed explosive growth in the past decade. The same has also been fuelled by the COVID-19 Pandemic that has forced people to stay indoors. This made it an interesting topic to work upon.
Interestingly, while looking for resources, I found this infographic that further charged me into exploring this topic. It’s interesting to know what can happen in a time span as miniscule as a minute in the virtual world.
Carto was used to carry out spatial analysis. The tool is extremely simple to use with a very clean and intuitive user interface.
MS Excel was used to have the original dataset to indicate the global users and calculate the percentage of users with respect to the country’s population.
For data of the year 2020, I extracted the table listed on the Wikipedia page and processed the same on Excel.
For the data of the year 2018, I made use of Kaggle, an online community for machine learning programmers and data scientists.
I made use of Adobe XD to create the moodboard to decide on the optimal colours for the map.
I started by converting the data into the desired format in MS Excel and importing the same on Carto.
Next, I created the maps on Carto for the two years by choosing an optimal colour palette.
I decided to choose colours that could clearly indicate the percentage but at the same time not be very light or very dark.
The final map can be viewed here
Key observations include:
- The number of internet users in India increased by a whopping 60%.
- The number of internet users in the United States increased by 27%.
- An increase in the number of users was also observed across Europe.
All in all, Carto has been an extremely easy to use tool giving a user a lot of flexibility. I have always found the maps on Our World in Data extremely useful and thus found Carto and its functionalities very fruitful. Sometimes, it’s much easier to look at maps when geographical data is concerned and Carto can easily come to rescue for those users who are new to handling Geospatial data.
I would love to explore it more by using it for various other open data sets in the future, including files in the several other formats that Carto supports. The time period that I have chosen for current analysis is limited and I would like to search for more data from other years and probably also study the growth of social media, as a step ahead.