Category Archives: EthnoViz

NamSor at RapidMiner Wisdom NYC 2016

In January this year, NamSor founder Elian CARSENAT was at RapidMiner Wisdom conference in New-York City. Discover theCUBE video.

The Big Apple: the World owns a piece.

We’ve analyzed NYC Open Data on Real Property (ACRIS) using RapidMiner with NamSor customer segmentation tool. Based on the socio-linguistics of personal names, we inferred gender, cultural origin and ethnicity to produce various maps and data visualizations.

It is fascinating how diverse New-York is. Who lives in NYC? Who owns a property? How do people vote?

Check out our presentation to discover some of the findings:

Try NamSor Extension for client segmentation

You can try NamSor API for free. NamSor names processing extension is an open source RapidMiner add-on available for download in RapidMiner MarketPlace.

About NamSor

NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of Name Recognition Software (NamSor sorts names). NamSor mission is to help understand international flows of money, ideas and people.

Reach us at: contact@namsor.com

 

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What’s in a name in 1914, in 2014?

(a onomastics.co.uk reblog)

This month, starting 25th of August, the University of Glasgow will host the 25th International Congress of Onomastic Sciences, the premier conference in the field of name studies.

For this occasion, we have started to calibrate NamSor software to recognize Scottish names. This is work in progress, but I’d like to share some preliminary data visualizations of regional names.

2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War. All across Europe and beyond, families lost dear ones, children were raised without knowing their father and grand-children were born in the aftermath of this trauma – only to live another global war, WWII. Let’s respect the people who died in both wars, and let’s also listen to the message their names convey to us about who they were, about who we are.

What do personal names tell us about the world in 1914?

In 1914, Europe was composed of Nations and Nations of Regions with deeply rooted people. This was the situation before the massive rural exodus and before the international migration flows caused by either decolonization or what we call today ‘globalization’. This first global war was fought by local people who lived close by among themselves, married in their local community, often spoke their own local language…

Scottish names

We’ve analysed the Commonwealth War Grave Commission (CWGC) database to see if we could correlate onomastics and regiments. The result is presented below:

20140801_Scottish_WWI_Onomastic_Millefeuille_v002

 

We’ve found a majority of Scottish names in regiments such as: the Gordon Highlanders, the Mercantile Marine Reserve, the Royal Scots, the Cameron Highlanders, the Seaforth Highlanders, the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and also the Royal Flying Corps.

The onomastic mille-feuille is dense but hard to understand. You can think of it as a sorted list of pie charts, like this one:

20140801_Scottish_WWI_Onomastic_PieChart_MercantileMarineReserve_v001

This pie chart tells us that the Mercantile Marine Reserved was composed mostly of Scottish and Welsh soldiers.

By looking at the soldiers ranks for that particular regiment, we can produce a new onomastic mille-feuille : names DO matter when it comes to rank in 1914.

20140801_Scottish_WWI_Onomastic_MilleFeuille_MercantileMarineReserve_v001

In more easily understandable pie chart language, this means that the Firemen were mostly Scottish and Welsh, whereas the Carpenters were English.

20140801_Scottish_WWI_Onomastic_Ranks_PieChart_MercantileMarineReserve_v001

Indian names

The first world war started as a European war but populations from Africa, Asia were immediately mobilized by the colonial powers of the time : the British Colonial Empire,  France, … many soldiers came from far away to meet their death in the tranchées of Eastern  France.

The Indian names in CWGC are indicated without any given name, but with the son’s and father’s name, for example:

sonName fatherName place regiment
PURANBAHADUR GHARTI KAMANSING GHARTI NEPAL 9th Gurkha Rifles
PUNE THAPA NAIN SING THAPA GULMI NEPAL 4th Gurkha Rifles
RADHA KISHN GANGA RAM RAJPUTANA Bharatpur Infantry
SITARAM SAWANT NILU SAWANT BOMBAY 117th Mahrattas
NAMDAR KHAN HAYAT KHAN N W F  PROVINCE 21st Punjabis
SHAHAB UDDIN KARAM ILAHI PUNJAB 53rd Sikhs (Frontier Force)
RAM RAKHA CHHOTE PUNJAB Sirmur Imperial Service Sapper Corps
AMAR SINGH GURDITT SINGH PUNJAB 15th Ludhiana Sikhs
LALITBIKRAM THAPA RAMBIKRAM THAPA NEPAL 5th Gurkha Rifles (Frontier Force)
PANCHAM DHUNDA UNITED PROVINCES Army Bearer Corps
CHINNASWAMI DURUGAYA MYSORE 2nd Queen Victoria’s Own Sappers and Miners
LAKKHI JAHANGIR UNITED PROVINCES Indian Royal Artillery
SHIU DAS DUBE RAM SEWAK DUBE UNITED PROVINCES 3rd Brahmans
BATAN SINGH BELA SINGH PUNJAB 57th Wilde’s Rifles (Frontier Force)
KALU GHALE KAMI GHALE NEPAL 8th Gurkha Rifles
ISMAIL HAIDAR MANUBUDDIN SIKDAR BENGAL Indian Railway Department
FATTEH KHAN DIL DOST KHAN PUNJAB 82nd Punjabis
SUJAWAL KHAN BAHADUR KHAN PUNJAB 38th King George’s Own Central India Horse
MAHABIR MURAI LACHHMAN MURRAI UNITED PROVINCES 3rd Sappers and Miners
SURENDRANATH RIAWA CHANDI CHARAN BISWAS BENGAL Indian Labour Corps

 

So we have used a different algorithm to automatically cluster Indian names into onomastic classes. Some onomastic classes might be related to geography, to Indian casts, to social status or religious beliefs …

We can again use an onomastic mille-feuille to visualize the correlation between names and geography, but here a classic geographical map would probably tell a better story.

20140801_Indian_WWI_Onomastic_Millefeuille_v001

Distinctive patterns are recognized in names from Bombay, Madras, Delhi or Pashawar, allowing the software to cluster them into distinct onomastic classes.

And again we can then look at regiments to visualize how ethnically/linguistically diverse they were:

20140801_Indian_Regiments_WWI_Onomastic_Millefeuille_v001

 

Italian names

All regions of Italy have paid a heavy tribute to the Great War:

2014_Italian_WWI_Casualties

 

Italian regional names are particularly well differentiated, as can be seen in the following onomastic millefeuille:

2014_Italian_WWI_Onomastics

We display here some examples of typical names from different regions. Can you see how different they are?

  • IT/Abruzzi e Molise: MEZZACAPPA GIUSEPPE DI ANTONIO, PAOLILLI-TREONZE PASQUALE DI DOMENICO, BONITATIBUS ERMANNO DI ANGELO, FIDELIBUS ANGELANTONIO DI EUGENIO, PAOLILLI-TREONZE DONATO DI GAETANO, VASQUENZ AUGUSTO ANGELO DI ANTONIO, AMMAZZALORSO ANTONIO DI ANGELO.
  • IT/Basilicata: LATERZA GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, SCAMORCIA GIUSEPPE DI GAETANO, ALAGIA NICOLA DI GIUSEPPE, CLAPS VITO CANIO DI GAETANO, CLOROFORMIO VITO DOMENICO DI TADDEO, SCANDIFFIO DOMENICO DI INNOCENZO, CLAPS ANGELO VITO DI VITANTONIO, CASAMASSIMA FRANCESCO PAOLO DI GIOVANNI, PENNIMPEDE GIUSEPPE DI PIETRO.
  • IT/Calabria: PROCOPIO FRANCESCO DI NICOLA, CANDREVA FRANCESCO DI GIUSEPPE, SCICCHITANO FRANCESCO DI GIUSEPPE, SPACCAROTELLA GIOVANNI DI ANGELO, CICCIU CONSOLATO DI ANTONIO, LULJ GIUSEPPE DI VINCENZO, TRUNCELLITO DOMENICO PASQUALE DI GIUSEPPE, DAVOLOS DOMENICO DI PASQUALE, CHIDICHIMO GIOVANNI DI SALVATORE.
  • IT/Campania: ANNUNZIATA GIOVANNI DI ANTONIO, PISCOPO GIOVANNI DI ANTONIO, PISCOPO GIUSEPPE DI ANTONIO, SARRAPOCHIELLO LORENZO DI NICOLA, GENETIEMPRO GIUSEPPE DI MATTEO, VALIANTAE ANIELLO DI CARMINE, DONNIACUO ALFONSO DI GIUSEPPE.
  • IT/Emilia-Romagna: SCHIAVAZAPPA BONFIGLIO DI CRISTOFORO, SAVRIE ADELCHI DI GIUSEPPE, VACONDIO BONFIGLIO DI PIETRO, GUAGLIUMI GEMINIANO DI CESARE, ASTROLOGI GIOVANNI DI FERDINANDO, SAVRIE GIUSEPPE DI PRIMO, GUAGLIUMI GIOVANNI DI LEANDRO, MANSERVIGI GIOVANNI DI SALINGUERRA.
  • IT/Lazio: ASTROLOGO ANGELO DI PACIFICO, FAPERDUE SALVATORE DI VALENTINO, CENTOSCUDI NAZZARENO DI SANTE, CARLODALATRI UMBERTO DI FRANCESCO, CAPPADOCIA GIUSEPPE DI GIOVANNI, SCHIETROMA GIUSEPPE DI PASQUALE, PALAMIDES GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, GIANFERMI GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI DOMENICO, CAPPADOCIA AMEDEO DI GIUSEPPE, PIETROBONO GUGLELMO DI BENIAMINO.
  • IT/Liguria: GAGGERO GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI GIUSEPPE, KONIG GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI GIOVANNI BATTISTA FILIPPO, MONTEGHIRFO GIOVANNI DI LUIGI, MAGIONCALDA GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI GIOVANNI, BACIGALUPO GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI DOMENICO, REDEGOSO GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI BARTOLOMEO, KONIG GUGLIELMO DI PIETRO, ARBOCO GIOVANNI BATTISTA DI EMANUELE VINCENZO.
  • IT/Lombardia: SANTAMBROGIO GIUSEPPE DI FRANCESCO, RUEFF GIOVANNI DI GIOVANNI, RECALCATI GIUSEPPE DI AMBROGIO, TAGLIABUE GIUSEPPE DI ANGELO, RANZENIGO FRANCESCO DI GIOVANNI, PIANTANIDA ANTONIO DI FELICE, SALMOIRAGHI GIUSEPPE DI ATTILIO, CONSONNI GIUSEPPE DI DOMENICO.
  • IT/Marche: CUCCU GIUSEPPE DI FRANCESCO, FIORDOLIVA GIUSEPPE DI PACIFICO, CINGOLANI NAZZARENO DI PIETRO, ANGELOME MARONE DI GIUSEPPE, VOLTATTORNI NAZZARENO DI FRANCESCO, CARSTANJEN GUSTAVO DI PAOLO, MENGHI-CERRA NAZZARENO DI DAVID, VOLTATTORNI CIRIACO DI LUIGI, CARSTANJEN EDOARDO DI PAOLO, BRUZZECHESSE DOMENICO DI FRANCESCO.
  • IT/Piemonte: DESTEFANIS GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, RIVOIRA GIOVANNI DI PIETRO, CUTTICA GIUSEPPE DI CARLO, BELLINO-ROCI GIUSEPPE DI NICOLAO, NEPOTE GIOVANNI DI DOMENICO, AIMAR BARTOLOMEO DI BARTOLOMEO, LANTELME GIORGIO DI FRANCESCO, GUELPA GIOVANNI DI GIOVANNI, VALSANIA GIOVANNI DI ANTONIO, ARNEODO GIUSEPPE DI GIOVANNI.
  • IT/Puglia: SPAGNULO COSIMO DAMIANO DI FRANCESCO, VANTAGGIATO GIUSEPPE DI VINCENZO, SEMERARO GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, EPICOCO DOMENICO DI GIOVANNI, AGHILAR RUGGIERO DI LUIGI, CANNABONA CROCIFISSO DI PASQUALE, BAGLIVO CROCIFISSO DI ORONZO, SPEDICATO CROCEFISSO DI SALVATORE, GIANCANE CROCIFISSO DI RAFFAELE.
  • IT/Sardegna: MARONGIU SALVATORE DI ANTONIO, PORCU GIOVANNI DI FRANCESCO, MARONGIU FRANCESCO DI SALVATORE, PUTZOLU GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, DESOGUS GIOVANNI DI ANTONIO, MURTAS GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, LAMPIS ANTIOCO DI FRANCESCO.
  • IT/Sicilia: RAPISARDA SALVATORE DI GIUSEPPE, GIONFRIDDO PAOLO DI SALVATORE, MACALUSO GIUSEPPE DI GIUSEPPE, SPAMPINATO ANTONINO DI GIUSEPPE, PRIVITERA ANTONINO DI GIUSEPPE, SCACCIANOCE SALVATORE DI ROSARIO, RAPISARDA SALVATORE DI CARMELO, CANGIALOSI ANTONINO DI MICHEL.
  • IT/Toscana: SCHIUMARINI IACOPO DI ANTONIO, DIOLAIUTI FERRUCCIO DI GIULIO, MAZZEI EFREM DI GIUSEPPE, DELL’EUGENIO ANGIOLO DI ANTONIO, DELL’ARINGA GABBRIELLO DI DANIELE, PISTOI ASTAROTTE DI OLIMPIO, BIENTINESI MILZIADE DI GIOVANNI, ANZEMPAMBER FILIPPO DI ADOLFO, BEMPORAD DUILIO DI POLICARPO, DELL’OMODARME RANIERI DI DEMETRIO.
  • IT/Trentino-Alto Adige: DALPIAZ GIUSEPPE, ANDERLE GIOVANNI, DEVIGILI GIUSEPPE, PONTALTI GIUSEPPE, CASAGRANDA GIUSEPPE, FLAIM GIOVANNI, PALLAORO GIUSEPPE, STEDILE GIUSEPPE, DETASSIS GIUSEPPE, DELVAI GIUSEPPE.
  • IT/Umbria: DESANTIS GIUSEPPE DI DOMENICO, MAGARINI-MONTENERO DOMENICO DI BONAVENTURA, QUONDAM GIOVANNI DI NAZZARENO, GAMBELUNGHE SALVATORE DI CESARE, CENTOGAMBE DOMENICO DI FELICE, QUONDAM CASTORINO DI GIUSEPPE, BESTIACCIA GIOVENALE DI GIUSEPPE, BELLACHIOMA ASTORRE DI ALBERTO, SFORNA CRISPOLTO DI NAZZARENO, CENTOGAMBE GIUSEPPE DI PIETRO.
  • IT/Veneto: DELL’OSBEL GIOVANNI DI ANTONIO, MESTRINER GIOVANNI DI GIUSEPPE, RODIGHIERO GIOVANNI DI ANTONIO, BOF GIOVANNI DI LUIGI, DALL’OSTO GIUSEPPE DI PIETRO, SKREZENEK GIUSEPPE DI CARLO, FILOSOFO GIOBATTA DI PAOLO, MENEGUZ GIOBATTA DI ANTONIO, MESCALCHIN GIOBATTA DI ANDREA, CIPOLAT-GOTET GIOVANNI DI GRAZIADIO.

French names

The equivalent of CWGC in France is the Mémoire des Hommes database. We’ve used it to calibrate NamSor recognition of French regional names. After calibration, about 70% of names can be allocated to a particular region and we can produce the following onomastic mille-feuille, sorted according to the relative number of Bretons (people from Brittany):

20140801_France_WWI_Millefeuille_v001

We can also view the total number of casualties, broken down according to the onomastic class. It show the large number of people originally from Brittany who died during WWI, regardless of their birthplace. However, this remains debatable – as ~30% of names could not be specifically allocated to a region of origin (only recognized as French).

20140801_France_WWI_RegionalBreakdown_v001

Baptiste COULMONT, a sociologist, published a very interesting study on given names analysing the results of students at the French Baccalaureate in 2014. We’ve used a similar dataset compare regional names in 1914 and in 2014. Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to align the geographic mappings – but the result is visual and self-explanatory. We can see how rural exodus and internal migration have eroded the regional identity in personal names. Still we can see that even in 2014, the correlation between onomastics and geography remains strong – especially in Brittany, in the North of France, in Alsace, in Lorraine, in Loire, in Lyon, in Aquitaine and Corsica.

20140801_France_Millefeuille_1914_2014_v001

What do names tell us about the world in 2014?

A lot! Some say: too much!

Enough to make ICOS2014 a very exciting and current event. We look forward to be in Glasgow on 24th August and meet you there. Long live onomastics.co.uk

Feel free to contact us, mailto:contact@namsor.com

About

NamSor™ Applied Onomastics is a European designer of name recognition software. Our mission is to help make sense of the Big Data and understand international flows of money, ideas and people.
http://namsor.com/

NamSor is committed to promote diversity and equal opportunity and launched GendRE API, a free API to conduct analysis of gender equality using open data.

 

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Turkish Onomastics and Migration Patterns

Next week at Regent’s University Turkish Migration Conference (TMC2014, London), Elian Carsenat will present breakthrough data mining technology to apply onomastics (the recognition of personal names) to the discovery of new migration patterns.

20140522_TMC_Flyer

As states struggle to provide timely and accurate data to international organizations (such as the OECD, IOM, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, …), these organizations can turn to the Big Data to identify and monitor new trends. What can Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, Facebook, D&B, Thomson WoS … tell us about the changing migration patterns of highly educated professionals, entrepreneurs? We’ll present how applied onomastics and the Big Data can be a game changer in migration studies, with vast implications on how countries or even regions can engage their Diaspora (to attract FDI, remittances, to build networks of expertise, …)

We look forward to see you at Regent’s University Turkish Migration Conference (TMC2014, London). Full program here.

To download the supporting presentation 20140530_TMS2014_Pitch_vFf.pdf

Further reading:

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DataViz of the Dutch Digital Diaspora

As a final map in our Twitter GEOnomastics serie, we present today the Dutch e-Diaspora.

To prepare the mapping, we recognized Twitter names as Dutch, Turkish or Spanish and filtered those having a geotag (~3% of tweets).

Emigration from the Netherlands has been happening for at least the last eight centuries. In several former Dutch colonies and trading settlements, there are ethnic groups of partial Dutch ancestry. Emigrants from the Netherlands since the Second World War went mainly to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and until the 1970s South Africa. There are recognisable Dutch immigrant communities in these countries. Smaller numbers of Dutch immigrants can be found in most developed countries. In the last decade, short-range cross-border migration has developed along the Netherlands borders with Belgium and Germany. Source: Wikipedia

To access the interactive map: http://cdb.io/1fsjItu

Dutch Digital Diaspora

Finally, we present the summary of the different Twitter GEOnomastics mappings we’ve published so far :

 

NamSor Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of name recognition software (NamSor sorts names), which aims to help understand international flows of money, ideas and people. namsor.com

NamSor will be at Big Data Paris on the 2nd of April 2014 and present at 5PM the potential benefits of mining the Big Data to reduce inequalities, promote Foreign Direct Investments in less favoured territories, using Diaspora Marketing. Meet us there!

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Hispanic, French, German names in the United-States

NamSor has mapped Hispanic Twitter accounts around the world. Not just Hispanic: French and German as well.

This interactive world map of the Hispanic, French and German e-Diasporas was produced using Twitter account data.

To access the interactive map, click here: http://cdb.io/1dqVd2n

20140503_US_Twitter_GEOnomastics_vF

Twitter is an interesting source because about 3 per cent of Twitter accounts opt-in to show their Tweet location (using GPS from a smartphone) and can be visualised on a map.

Our method of anthroponomical classification can be summarized as follow: judging from the Twitter name only and the publicly available list of all ~150k Olympic athletes since 1896, for which team would the person most likely run (of France, Spain, Germany)?

NamSor Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of name recognition software (NamSor sorts names), which aims to help understand international flows of money, ideas and people. namsor.com

Further reading :

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Revealing the Irish, French, Indonesian digital diasporas

An Irish Times @GenerationEmigration reblog

NamSor technology has mapped the location of Irish-owned Twitter accounts around the world.
To access the interactive map, click here: http://cdb.io/1h8kTDG

20140101_TwitterGEOnomastics_IrishTimes_1

Elian Carsenat and Michel Fortin

Before Christmas, we came to Ireland to present NamSor, a piece of name recognition software which uncovered the Irish ‘digital diaspora’ for the first time. This interactive world map of the Irish, French and Indonesian e-Diasporas was produced using Twitter account data.

Twitter is an interesting data source because about 3 per cent of Twitter accounts opt-in to show their Tweet location (using GPS from a smartphone) and can be visualised on a map. We were interested to visualise the Irish digital diaspora, not just in the US and the UK, but globally. Our assumption was that the Irish themselves are familiar with the history and sociology of the Irish diaspora in the US and the UK (and such organisations like IDA Ireland and Tourism Ireland have been successful in leveraging those), but what about Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia? It is interesting to see how large and dispersed the Irish diaspora is in the US, and how small and concentrated it is in populous Indonesia.

20140101_TwitterGEOnomastics_IrishTimes_2

The scientific jargon for this special data mining is applied onomastics. We’ve worked with many different databases before, using onomastics for a specific purpose. For example, to help the Lithuanian Investment Promotion Agency understand the sociology of its diaspora and attract foreign direct investments (FDI), we’ve data mined Factiva C&E, a large database of company directors worldwide. We’ve also analysed PubMed, a scientific database used by doctors and biotechnology researchers, to recognise where international talent flows in that competitive field.

We spent a lot of time in Dublin with Kingsley Aikins, chief executive of Diaspora Matters, who is well known internationally in the diaspora field and has worked with many other countries as well as Ireland.

He believes the product could be a real game changer in the diaspora field and could help answer the perennial question all countries ask about their diasporas – who are they, where are they and what are they doing. He believes that we now live in a networked age and the key to success of diaspora engagement is in building global networks. Namsor will help find these people and enable new diaspora networks to be developed.

He also referred to the emerging global war for talent and how diasporas are going to be critically important sources of talent. Countries who know and keep in touch with their diasporas will have a competitive advantage. This will apply not only to those wishing to return to their home country but also to those wishing to be involved and help with DDI (Diaspora Direct Investment). Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia have already introduced initiatives in these areas.

We were impressed with the success of the Gathering, bringing several hundred thousand people to Ireland. This is an innovative initiative and must have strengthened the bonds between the Irish diaspora and Ireland.

There may not be such thing as a ‘French diaspora’, but we see more and more French people going abroad, especially the young and talented seeking an international experience. We’ve seen a lot of them in Dublin! Our impression is that the French abroad don’t really know or help each other as effectively as in other cultures, such as the Irish. French diplomats, large companies, entrepreneurs established abroad, exporting SMEs, professors and students all seem to live in separate worlds. France could learn a lot from what Ireland is doing.

NamSor Applied Onomastics is a European vendor of name recognition software (NamSor sorts names), which aims to help understand international flows of money, ideas and people. namsor.com

Diaspora Matters is a consultancy company based in Dublin advising governments, companies, organisations and individuals on how to develop strategies and programmes to connect with their Diasporas. diasporamatters.com

This article was inspired by and original article published in onomastics.co.uk

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Making sense of Big Data : mining Twitter names

Millions of geo tweets in various languages, discussing anything from ‘hey, I’m here‘ to finance, geopolitics or marketing. How do you make sense of them?

We’ve used name recognition (applied onomastics) to filter information and produce unique maps of the e-Diasporas. Where are the digitally connected Italian, Turkish and Russian today? They may be migrants, tourists, business travellers, student, visiting scientists…

To jump directly to the interactive map, click here : http://cdb.io/1iSeWw2 or read more about our methodology.

Italian, Russina, Turkish Twitter

Italian, Russina, Turkish Twitter

TIP : Filter out layers and zoom in/out.
Below we filtered out the Turkish Twitter layer to visualize where the Russian & Italian tourists go to holiday in Turkey

Russian, Italians in Turkey

Russian, Italians in Turkey

The Italian America :

Italian America

Italian America

Further reading :

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Onomastics and international event marketing : post hoc analysis of OECD Forum 2013

Choosing the right location to organize international exhibitions and events is critical to reach your targeted audience. For open events choosing a particular location will generally induce an undesired local bias, which you can compensate by proactively trying to attract the right mix of international participants.

Best practices to attract international visitors

To do that, onomastics (name recognition) can be a useful communication tool to leverage the right channels. It is also a great data mining tool to analyse, after the event, the international mix of participants. Company nationality, nationality or residence of a participant, are often misleading information. For example, let us look at the participants list of the OECD Forum 2013, which took place on 28-29 May at the OECD headquarters in Paris and attracted about 1500 visitors.

Firstly, attributing a nationality to companies is becoming increasingly difficult. ‘The Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF‘ is clearly international. ‘NetworkIrlande‘ is based in Paris but with a clear Irish touch. What about ‘Ernst & Young‘? It could be classified as international, if you attracted a partner in charge of a global business unit. But it could also be classified as local if you attracted a local consultant hoping to network with his clients in Paris.

Secondly, considering only the Country of Residence leads to overestimating the local bias. Give the chart below a casual glance and you will get the impression that the OECD, being in Paris, struggles to attract visitors from outside of France.

20130621 OECDForum2013 by Country Of Residence

That’s not a fair view of reality. For example, the French residents include a large number of international diplomats based in France as well as international researchers at the OECD itself.

Thirdly, looking at people’s names provides additional information though it remains imperfect. It partially corrects the local bias. In the chart below, the OECD Forum looks indeed more international.

20130621 OECDForum2013 by Onomastic Class

Our method of anthroponomical classification can be summarized as follow: if a OECD participant were to become an Olympic athlete (after a bit of training of course), judging from his name only and the publicly available list of all ~150k Olympic athletes since 1896, for which team would he most likely run?

This information is also imperfect. In this chart ‘France‘ means French, as in French name. Many names from, say, Québec, Luxembourg, Belgium, etc. will be misclassified. The United-States do not appear in the chart but ‘Great Britain‘ and ‘Ireland‘ will include names from North-America.

Combining both information (residency and onomastics) we can drill-down into the demographics of a French residents and further reduce our false impression of a disproportionate local bias.

20130621 OECDForum2013 French Residends by Onomastic Class

We finally get a more realistic picture of the proportion of local visitors (though it may still include a few people from Belgium, Luxembourg, Québec, etc.). Now, how can we measure the local bias? The question is : how many Frenchmen would normally be present at the OECD Forum, should it take place in a neighbouring country – and to do that we could use other international events as a benchmark. Our conclusion : there is a bias, but it is reasonably small. 

20130621 OECDForum2013 localBias

Good news, the OECD Forum is a truly international event: no need to move it to London, Geneva or Berlin !

Get the dataset here OECD_FORUM_2013_PARTICIPANTS.zip

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Chinese names, colorful onomastics

Chinese names

Some more work in progress. No comment – yet.

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Tsarnaev Brothers: The right kind of Caucasian

There has been a lot of confusion last week, in the aftermath of the identification of two suspect terrorists in Boston : Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Twitter mistaked Czech Republic for Chechnya and Czech Ambassador Petr Gandalovic had to issue an official statement. A twitter user from Bulgaria complained that in the US suddenly “anyone with a last name ending on -EV or OV is a supposed Chechen“. Sarah Kendzior’s article The wrong kind of Caucasian made a parallel with the case of Leon Czolgosz, a 28-year-old American of Polish descent who assassinated US President William McKinley in 1901.

Recognizing language and ethnicity is a critical function of the kind of name recognition software used by governmental security forces to match misspelled foreign names against existing watchlists. That the FBI didn’t know Boston bomber traveled to volatile Dagestan region in Russia in 2012 because ‘his name was misspelled on travel documents‘ is rather suprising.

Chechnya is a subject of the Russian Federation, but Chechen names are recognisable from ethnic Russian names. The onomastics of the Russian Federation are complex due to the large number of ethnic groups, the population transfers during Soviet times, the rural exodus and various other factors. The following article shows our analysis of a few name classes, to illustrate the underlying complexity.

Russian Federation - a complex identity and ethnicity

About the author

Atlasys is a cartography workshop specialized in geopolitical analysis.

About the contributors

RUSSOSCOPIE™ is the distributor of INTEGRUM, a leading professional database covering Russian media, companies, and decision makers.

NAMSOR™ is a provider of applied onomastics, sociolinguistics and name recognition software.

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