In general, the database behind hastac.org includes little information about the physical geography of HASTAC members. There is an optional profile field in which members can enter their location information, but only a scarce few of you have done so.*
In fact, the primary source of location-related information we have comes from comments, for each of which is recorded an IP address -- blog and forum posts, opportunities, and news, are not associated with an IP address, just comments. While it is true that individuals' IP addresses do not always correspond to their literal physical location (for example, IP addresses can be virtual or spoofed, or one could use a remote desktop), I feel safe in assuming that the IP address attached to a member's comment is typically from that member's own computer.
If this is the case, then it is possible to roughly estimate the location of each of these commenters, using a geolocation API, such as that from InfoDB. Fortunately for me, there is an easy way to do this in R, by use of the geoPlot package.
Essentially, the ipListLookup() function takes as an input a vector of IP addresses, and outputs a best-guess set of latitude and longitude coordinates for each. These coordinates can then, of course, be plotted as a map, which I have done using ggplot2. (This post briefly illustrates a simple version of a similar application.)
The map at the beginning of this post illustrates the distribution of commenter locations in the continental U.S. (with a conic projection). The map included below depicts commenter locations across the globe (with a Mollweide projection). It is not clear the extent to which we can use commenter locations to make inferences about the whole population of HASTAC members, but we can see from these simple maps that hastac.org is indeed a global community.
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number 1243622. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.