Topi Tjukanov, a geographer and senior map designer at Mapbox, put the visualization together, which features different influential people from fields including culture, science, leadership, and sports. What someone contributes to society to be considered notable can vary, so researchers tried to narrow it down and account for biases where possible.
Each name featured on the map was determined using a baseline of information scraped from Wikipedia and Wikidata for use in a recent study published in Nature that tried to calculate a person’s notability based on several rules:
The number of Wikipedia editions of each individual;
The length, i.e total number of words found in all available biographies. It is equal to zero for individuals with just one Wikidata entry and no biography in Wikipedia;
The average number of biography views (hits) for each individual between 2015 and 2018 in all available language editions, using an API available in https://wikitech.wikimedia.org/wiki/Analytics/AQS/Pageviews or zero in the absence of a Wikipedia biography;
The number of non-missing items retrieved from Wikipedia or Wikidata for birth date, gender and domain of influence. The intuition here is that the more notable the individual, the more documented his/her biographies will be;
The total number of external links (sources, references, etc.) from Wikidata.
When you click on each name — larger ones that are more visible from further away have higher rankings — you’re able to see where each individual ranks notability-wise.
If you’re a fan of geography and people, this site could be a cool way to explore people near and far. Or, as it was for me, another reminder that I share the same hometown as Beyoncé.