Thursday, April 02, 2020

The Divided & United Nations

Joseph Ricafort has used a clustering algorithm to sort the countries of the world into groups based on their joint membership of international organizations. His Circle of Nations groupings maps the countries of the world based not on their geographical proximity but on their shared membership of over 200 international groups and organizations. Using his Circles of Nations visualization you can switch between a geographic map of the world's countries and a map based on international ties.

The data used for the visualization is based on country membership of groups listed in the CIA World Factbook international organizations list. A T-SNE algorithm was then used to cluster countries together based on their shared membership of these international organizations. In some of these new clusters or groupings regional and geographical factors are still in play. For example Latin American countries share membership of many of the same international organizations, such as the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Central American Common Marker (CACM). There is also a strong grouping among Arab states, with many Arab countries belonging to the same (mainly economic) international organizations, such as OAPEC.

However there are groupings which are far less geographical in their nature. For example there is a grouping of large economies. This consists of many European countries, but also the USA, China, India, Australia and New Zealand. These countries share membership of international organisations such as NATO and the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

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