Categorized | Science

What does the internet look like?

Posted on 06 February 2012 by illektrik

In the process of trying to find out more information about a BUND Reel to Reel “Black Box”, I suddenly found myself on a completely random blog page looking at images and reading information about topics that weren’t even loosely related to my initial search. This probably happens to everyone. I read somewhere recently that it’s not unusual for the average 20-30 something to start at one place, and end up somewhere completely different; not just on the interwebs, but in our life paths and careers. It is one of the defining characteristics of our generation; and the ability to adapt and change isn’t a bad thing. It’s how we got here in the first place. All of this got me thinking about nature. I find more often than not that physical patterns in nature are a mirror image of the way we connect to each other, and I wondered; What does the internet look like? I had imagined, naturally, that it looked something like a tree, or a series of connected root systems. I was right.

Here it is.

“No map exists of the entire Internet, but these lines show the paths an e-mail might take across some of the largest networks. The lines branch at each network router, or node, along the way. Colours were assigned according to the geographic domain (for example, .se for Sweden) where each network router was registered. The map was created using the skitter tool (developed by D. McRobb at CAIDA), which sends out small packets of data from a source to many destinations through the Internet. The data collected by skitter give a snapshot of the Internet at a particular moment. (Graph created by B. Huffaker using graph layout code provided by B. Cheswick and H. Burch.)”

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