The Real Network of Countries


What to to, when it’s raining outside and you have had too much coffee? Find the network perspective of course! Today’s victim of network analysis is the WORLD. The following picture is composed of UN’s nations’ land borders. Some of the borders are less obvious – such as the Spain-UK -border (Gibraltar) and the Morocco-Spain -border (Ceuta, Melilla, and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera).  The size of the node represents the betweenness of the node i.e. how many shortest paths between countries go through it. In the European perspective, Russia is the gateway to the east and Turkey to the Middle-East and Africa. No wonder the EU is focusing lot of attention to Turkey.


Dataset available here (DL-format). Update: other dataformats: here (.gexf), here (.csv), here (.gdf) and here (.net).


Made with Gephi


8 Responses to “The Real Network of Countries”

  1. I think this is really cool. With this dataset – which is meaning full to everybody – it gets really easy to explain the network perspective. I will definitely use this example when talking to prospective customers 🙂

    I’l check the dataset though – Denmark is connected to at least Sweden (via bridge) and Norway (via boat) 🙂

    • Thanks! I try to spread the joy of network analysis and sharing data is not that difficult.

      Yeah, I am aware of the Øresundsbroen, but I decided to stick to common land borders. And the caffeine may have caused some oversights… Keep me posted, if you update the dataset.

  2. Just curious – which version of gephi did you use? The 0.7 alpha can not parse the DL file.

  3. Hi,

    Please could you provide a GEXF file (exported from Gephi)?

    This example is really good to get people learn network visualization 😉

  4. JB Says:

    Very interesting work. Gave it a try myself with yEd – but it seems the data is not correct for Iran? Am I wrong, or should there be 7 links (it’s currently shown as an isolate).

    Thanks for sharing…

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