O'Really?

December 12, 2007

Mapping the Internet

Internet mapAs of 2007, the Internet is mostly still a wild untamed jungle. Many people have tried to chart the territory, but what should a map of the internet look like?

One of my favourite maps is “The Web Is Agreement” by Paul Downey. Paul’s map has a Tolkien-like Lord of the Rings feel to it, so instead of Microsoft we have Mordorsoft. The all seeing eye of Sauron is Google of course, helping search, but raising privacy concerns.

Paul is not the only cartographer busy drawing maps, Randall Munroe has drawn a nifty map based on Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (available as a poster, for hard-core geeks) and an online communities map, shown at the bottom of this post.

If the atoms of the Internet had numbers, you could organise them into a map like the Periodic Table, just as Mendeleev did. Hence we have The Periodic Table of the Internet by Wellington Grey, which uses PageRank (instead of atomic numbers) as a means of charting the Internet.

Periodic Table of the Internet

And of course there’s some bloke called Tim who, showing his British roots, often draws more abstract maps that look like the London Underground, shown below.

The map is not the territory but you can learn a hell of a lot by looking at the map before you head into the jungle. Using the map below, you’ll find nodalpoint, down South in the warm “blogipelago“, past the “Gulf of YouTube” below. Bon voyage!

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