The spatial distribution of internal exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) is evaluated in an optically accessible direct injection spark ignition engine using near infrared laser absorption to visualize the distribution of the H2O molecule. The obtained overall internal exhaust gas recirculation compares well to gas-exchange cycle calculations and the spatial distributions are consistent with those measured with inverse LIF. The experimental procedures described in this report are designed to be simple and rapidly implemented without the need to resort to unusual optical components. The necessary spectral data of the selected absorption line is obtained from the HITEMP database and is validated with prior experiments carried out in a reference cell. Laser speckle in the images is effectively reduced using a ballistic diffuser. An exact quantification of the water concentration of each pixel is not yet possible for all of the investigated operating conditions because of the limited power of the employed laser. However, strong inhomogeneities of EGR distributions during the intake stroke such as the tumble motion can be recognized and general trends are reproduced as expected.