Map of open government communities generated by social network analysis of Twitter


The map above was created on November 20 by researcher Marc Smith using a dataset of tweets that contained “opengov” over the past month. You can explore an interactive version of it here.

The social network analysis is, by its nature, a representation of only the data used to create it. It’s not a complete picture of open government communities offline, or even the totality of the communities online: it’s just the people who tweeted about open gov.

That said, there are some interesting insights to be gleaned.

1) The biggest network is the one for the Open Government Partnership (OGP), on the upper left (G1), which had its annual summit during the time period in question. That likely affected the data set.

2) I’m at the center of the U.S. open government community on the bottom left (G2) (I’m doing something right!) and am connected throughout these communities, though I need to work on my Spanish. This quadrant is strongly interconnected and includes many nodes linked up to OGP and around the world. (Those are represented by the green lines.)

3) Other communities include regional networks, like Spain (G4) and Spanish-speaking (G11) open government organizations, Germany (G3), Italy (G12), Canada (G7), Greece (G5) and Australia (G9), and ideological networks, like the White House @OpenGov initiative (G8) and U.S. House Majority Leader (G6). These networks have many links to one another, although Mexico looks relatively isolated. Given that Indonesia has a relatively high Twitter penetration, its relative absence from the map likely reflects users there not tweeting with “opengov.”

4) The relative sparseness of connections between the Republican open government network and other open government communities strongly suggests that, despite the overwhelming bipartisan support for the DATA Act in the House, the GOP isn’t engaging and linked up to the broader global conversation yet, an absence that should both concern its leaders and advocates in the United States that would like to see effective government rise above partisan politics. This community is also only tweeting links to its own (laudable) open government initiatives and bills in the House, as opposed to what’s happening outside of DC.

5) You can gain some insight into the events and issues that matter in these communities by looking at the top links shared. Below, I’ve shared the top links from Smith’s NodeXL analysis:
Top URLs in Tweet in Entire Graph:

Top URLs in Tweet in G1 (Open Government Partnership):

Top URLs in Tweet in G2 (US OpenGov Community):

Top URLs in Tweet in G3 (Germany):,Lde/541381.html

Top URLs in Tweet in G4 (Spain):

Top URLs in Tweet in G5 (Greece):

Top URLs in Tweet in G6 (GOP):–Standards/Rulemaking/Final-and-Proposed-Rules/Hand-Held-Infant-Carriers/

Top URLs in Tweet in G7 (Canada):

Top URLs in Tweet in G8 (@OpenGov):,5,787

Top URLs in Tweet in G9 (Australia):

Top URLs in Tweet in G10: