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The Internet Education Technology

A New Map of the Internet 147

Posted by Zonk
from the can-see-my-work-from-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The Chris Harrison project has created a series of maps that show the geographical structure and distribution of the Internet. At the site you can view a global, geo-spatial map of the global internet. The visualizations were put together using data from the Dimes project. One visualization shows the density of Internet connections worldwide while the other displays how international cities are connected. Detailed Maps of Europe and North America are included as well. It's amazing how skewed the distribution is — beyond Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South-East Asia, the southern hemisphere has only a peppering of connectivity."
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A New Map of the Internet

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  • Shocking (Score:5, Funny)

    by kmac06 (608921) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:14PM (#20876301)
    So the parts of the world that are developed and wealthy have a larger internet presence than the third world countries? I am shocked, shocked I say.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:20PM (#20876333)
      RE: Map of Tubes

      Hello, Ted Stevens here.
      I find this map of tubes very intriguing. As you may know, I have been a proponent of protecting the Internet's tubes from clogging up. I think this new geo-spatial map will show how the tubes are distributed. It shows that I was right all along! The Internet is like a truck! You can't just throw stuff on it or it slows it down. As a matter of fact, my secretary is sending an Internet right now and NO CARRIER

      Very Truly Yours,
      Ted Stevens
      U.S. Senator
      --
      Write in the man! George W. Bush in 2008.
    • by Bluesy21 (840772)
      Shocking that its Slashdotted already!
    • map visual appeal (Score:4, Interesting)

      by siddesu (698447) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:36PM (#20876421)
      well, in a few years, when the one laptop per child project succeeds, and the world has successfully moved to ipv6 and most computers have real IP addresses, there may be some really interesting pictures in the developing world as well. in fact, since by that time the West will probably be saturated with networked devices, the only maps that are interesting visually may be those in the poorer countries.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Plutonite (999141)
        I hate to tell you this, but there are these huge stretches of land in the US called the "fly-over" states..perhaps you've heard of them. I doubt they will be ever saturated with anything, much less IPv6 networks. Maybe cows, I dunno. Whenever you get the impulse to imagine a technologically saturated western world where everything is so advanced that it doesn't matter to look anymore, always remember

        IDAHO: FAMOUS POTATOES!

        For further info:
        http://www.thebestpageintheuniverse.net/c.cgi?u=idaho_blows [thebestpag...iverse.net]
        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          I doubt [the "fly-over" states] will be ever saturated with anything, much less IPv6 networks.

          It's unlikely that they'll ever have fibre/wire connectivity to any massive extent, but what about WiMax and other wireless Internet technologies?

          You may think that Idaho will still never approach urban areas in terms of relative connectivity. However, if wireless technology gets closer to wired/fibre in terms of performance, it may be decided that it's simply easier to connect even urban areas with wireless (makes the infrastructure easier to build). In which case, unwired Idaho is at much less of a dis

  • Beyond Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South-East Asia, the southern hemisphere is largely less developed in all kinds of ways than the north. This plays out in lots of areas international organizations like the UN deal with. It's nifty that the 'net reflects it, but not particularly surprising.
    • Maybe internet maps would be good feedback to the UN if progress is being made
      • by digitig (1056110)
        I suspect the internet maps will tend to lag behind the indicators that matter at the moment. A lot of developing countries are held back by the poor transportation infrastructures. Although data movement can be important for an economy, it's probably always going to lag movement of physical goods -- you can't eat bits.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by iminplaya (723125)
      ...the southern hemisphere is largely less developed in all kinds of ways than the north.

      Well, beyond those and Antarctica (Imagine... a whole continent without a Walmart!), much of the southern hemisphere is still under water.
      • by miro f (944325) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @01:50AM (#20877007)
        nooo! South America is sinking!

        *glug glug glug...*
      • by z3d4r (598419)
        Australia doesnt have a walmart store anywhere either
      • by novakreo (598689)

        ...the southern hemisphere is largely less developed in all kinds of ways than the north.

        Well, beyond those and Antarctica (Imagine... a whole continent without a Walmart!), much of the southern hemisphere is still under water.
        Australia and Africa don't have Walmarts either.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          Do Europe, Asia or Wouth America, have Walmarts (someone else already mentioned Australia)? I thought it was a purely North American thing.
          • by rainer_d (115765)
            They're pulling out of Germany. I don't know about the rest of Europe.
            After burning through the (estimated) loss of 800 millions Euro in ten years, they pulled the plug in July 2006 and sold the German business to the Metro Group.
            I just read in the German wikipedia-article that there was indeed no other Walmart-franchise in the rest of Europe.
            In Germany, nobody needed them - there were already lots of established players who want to drive prices down and each other out of business to be able to move the pri
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by potnis (793698)
      Just for the record, South East Asia is NOT in the Southern hemisphere.

      Unless i didnt get the memo!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tverbeek (457094)
      I find the exceptions to the general patterns interesting. For example, on the map of connections, there's a cluster going to somewhere around the Gulf of Guinea... are those lines there to transport all the scam-spam from deposed Nigerian millionaires? And what's with the links to... northern Manitoba?
      • And what's with the links to... northern Manitoba?

        Online poker servers run on Aboriginal territory.

      • by axlrosen (88070)
        The Gulf of Guinea happens to be at latitude zero, longitude zero, so I'd say that's due to data issues. Also 90 degrees longitude (or is it latitude? I forget) goes through Manitoba, so that might also be a similar problem.
  • by ajs (35943) <<moc.sja> <ta> <sja>> on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:15PM (#20876305) Homepage Journal
    I've worked on trying to identify geographical locations based on IP, reverse mapping, and a number of other measures. Trust me when I say that it's near impossible to get even a passable degree of accuracy. DIMES does the best they can with what they have, but I would not put too much stock in it.
    • by Trogre (513942)
      I know what you mean. Xtraceroute hasn't worked properly for years now.

    • by Alomex (148003) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @01:12AM (#20876885) Homepage
      Trust me when I say that it's near impossible to get even a passable degree of accuracy.

      This is assuming you try to ID the location from a single place. If you probe the IP from ten different geographic locations you can get within 100 miles of the actual destination and quite often a lot closer than that. Quite often the address we guessed was within 10 miles of that listed in the DNS records (which is not always the right one due to corporations collocating their servers at a different address than the DNS record).
      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by Broken scope (973885)
        Offtopic, mod me so quickly.

        So what your signature is telling me is that I'm going to have a job when I graduate? Fuck yes.
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          What the sig is saying is what has always been true. People who are really interested in IT and have real skills will have no problem finding a job. There's a huge shortage of good IT workers. The fact that CS enrollment has dropped 70% just goes to show how many people were just in it for the money. Once the lucrative jobs went away, so did the people with no interest in the subject.
        • by Alomex (148003)
          Yup, people who graduate in 2008-2010 are going to command large starting salaries, signing bonuses and will have a choice of where to work. One thing though, businesses today have no patience to train anyone, so you better specialize before you finish your degree (learn networks or CG or oracle or whatever, but you ought to be able to hit the ground running).

      • by ajs (35943)

        Trust me when I say that it's near impossible to get even a passable degree of accuracy.

        This is assuming you try to ID the location from a single place. If you probe the IP from ten different geographic locations you can get within 100 miles of the actual destination and quite often a lot closer than that.

        Just two data-points for you to consider:

        1) Many multinational corporations have points of presence for their Internet access in one or a small number of countries, shunting users to those countries from their satellite offices. That means that that hit from Thailand could easily be originating in Australia.

        2) Many dialup users in the EU, South America and Africa cross national boundaries between the dialup POP that they use and the point of presence that they appear to originate from.

        That's just two examp

        • by Alomex (148003)
          When I say it works is because we've done it. In fact you can buy this as a commercial service from any number of companies e.g. http://www.maxmind.com/>, http://ip2location.com/>.

          Btw. we could do way better than those two companies above, since we did it using more sophisticated techniques than a simple reverse IP lookup.
          • by ajs (35943)

            When I say it works is because we've done it. In fact you can buy this as a commercial service

            Oh, there are plenty of commercial services that do this. They're all wrong, however. The benefit that they have is that they tend to come up with results that, for the most part, agree with each other, so the incorrectness of their results have become accepted degrees of inaccuracy.

            That doesn't make them true, however, and the two examples that I gave pretty concretely prove that.

    • by spectrokid (660550) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @04:15AM (#20877483) Homepage
      Well somebody is getting it right... I am living in a shitty little village in Denmark and and the "Meet interesting girls in..." adverts from Adult Friend Finder have zeroed in. A year ago they gave towns 60 km away from here, now they are always within 10 km.
      • by boarsai (698361)
        You have to start worrying (or counting your blessings) when the adverts are accurate enough to start informing you that the hot girls are actually next door! Hang on... you'd probably already know that. Get away from the window.
    • by GC (19160)
      It doesnt mean much, I help manage a couple of protected international circuits in Europe and can categorically say that they do not appear on this map.

      Also this map shows interconnectivity which I presume is at a Layer 3 level, does not account for tunnelled interfaces, or physical interconnectivity such as SDH/Sonet networks of ADMs.
    • by mjrosenb (1168393)
      There used to be an amazing site called peacock maps that had posters of the net back in 2002. The posters were amazing, but they still stopped making them
    • by diegocn (1109503)
      Wow I thought China's density would be a lot more than Indea's. Also it's shocking how North Korea compares to South Korea.
    • Now that is odd. Do they really not have artificial lighting in Canada ?

      And why the horizontal line across asia ?

      • by PaintyThePirate (682047) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @12:21AM (#20876677) Homepage
        I wondered the same about the line when I first saw that map. I could be mistaken, but I think its the result of towns springing up around the Trans-Siberian Railway [wikipedia.org]. It had the same type of effect on Russia that the Transcontinental Railroad did for the US.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by rs79 (71822)
          I had no idea my grade 12 geography project would EVER come in handy but...

          Cities tend to grow up around train (now highway) lines. For reasons I'd think would be obvious.

          Toronto in the 50s was a perfect example. One line north south (Yonge) and east west (Bloor).

          Thank you Mr. Cioran.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mr_mischief (456295)
        They have lots of artificial lighting in Canada. It's plain on the picture. The farthest north reaches just don't have that many inhabitants. Much of Canada's population lives just north of the US border.

        As for the horizontal line across Asia, I'm going to guess that's Russia's Trans-Siberian Railroad and all the settlements along it. Even in the more heavily lit region around the Caucasus, one can pick out a line. It appears to run directly from the Baltic near St. Petersburg to the east then south a bit a
        • by belmolis (702863)

          Indeed, more than "much". 90% of our population lives within 160km (100 miles) of the US border. That's 3.5% of the greatest north-south extent of the country. We've got electric lights, computers, cellphones, even broadband here in the north, but it doesn't light up like the far south.

          • I'd heard the 90% within 100 miles statistic before, but I wasn't sure how recent it was (nor, truthfully, if it was entirely accurate or some hyperbole).
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hognoxious (631665)
        That's the great firewall [wikipedia.org] of China. It's like a filter, in the tubes.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tverbeek (457094)
        As any paranoid US nationalist knows, nearly the entire Canadian population is massed on the US/Canada border, in preparation for an invasion. They've turned off all the lights in the rest of the country to protect it from retaliatory air raids.
  • no match (Score:3, Funny)

    by albeit unknown (136964) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:26PM (#20876365)
    The Chris Harrison project will prove to be no match for.... The Alan Parsons Project.
  • Obligatory (Score:5, Funny)

    by evanbd (210358) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:30PM (#20876383)
  • Because everyone knows that the internet is, as the post says, a "series of maps".
    • by saskboy (600063)
      If the Internet is a series of maps, does that make spammers the people who put push-pins into random places that make no sense?
    • by rs79 (71822)
      "Because everyone knows that the internet is, as the post says, a "series of maps". "

      Until 1996 when the TCP/IP connected internet finally became larger than the UUCP network this was very very true.

      No maps, no UUCP, no network.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:41PM (#20876453)
    Let's see, it's a new way to map the network, a new map ... I've got it! We'll call it "NMAP"!
  • not 100% right. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hjf (703092) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:41PM (#20876455) Homepage
    this map needs a lot of interpretation: the southern hemisphere looks dark compared to the north, but that's because of the way population is distributed. In the US, there's town after town, and that's why mid-to-north US looks so bright, and we know that in the left, it isn't so. Europe is the same. Lots of people crammed in relatively small territories. But then you see Brazil and Argentina, and we look dim. Too dim. Well, that's because we have vast extensions of nothing. Wild rainforest, the wonderful pampas... sure, these places are "disconnected". But then again, nobody lives there (keep in mind, for example, Argentina is 2/3 the size of the US and 1/10 the population). But look closely: central america is bright. Why? Easy: small countries, many cities together. They look brighter in the map. I mean, south america isn't "disconnected", it's just not so densely connected, and I guess there's an important factor too:

    This map was, I guess, made with some sort of "geolocation" database. I happen to be a customer of a large ISP, they don't assign a whole netblock to my city, so it's registered as part of Buenos Aires . So the data may lie a little (I know that hundreds, if not thousands of Latin American small towns have -paid- wi-fi. Some of them through satellite links, others, the luckier, through leased lines. I happen to be in the industry and have set up 4 wi-fi ISPs, and I know of at least another 10 in my province alone). I think the "world at night" ( http://www.atimes.com/atimes/images/earth_night.jpg [atimes.com] ) map represents what I'm trying to mean. I bet that if the data was completely precise, it would look a lot like this map.
    • ,i>this map needs a lot of interpretation: the southern hemisphere looks dark compared to the north, but that's because of the way population is distributed.

      I don't think so. If you ignore brightness, and compare the number of connections coming out of a large American city like Seattle, San Franciso, or LA to any South American city, it simply has more connections.

      • by hjf (703092)
        I was talking about geographical distribution of connections, not the number of connections. Also, in the US there are more far more datacenters than anywhere in the world, and those represent many connections. Considering that few sites are locally-hosted (because leased-line, infrastructure, and energy costs make it prohibitive to build a large datacenter here, many (most?) local websites are hosted in the US).
    • That map of the night is crazy.
      I mean most of it looks spot on to me.
      Except for the part where most of Canada is using night goggles instead of lamps.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jd (1658)
      If you scaled each region by population, scaled the thickness of each line by bandwidth scaled the brightness of each line by reliability, and used the three primary colours to indicate whether the line supported IPv6, MPLS or multicasting in addition to the mainstream Internet protocols, you would produce a more representative map that would better reflect actual Internet service and coverage but would also be totally unreadable and would also likely destroy the credibility of most of the major Internet-en
    • by jonadab (583620)
      There may be more going on than that. Nigeria is more densely populated than Ohio, but Nigeria is mostly black, with little grey dots at Lagos, Port Harcourt, and a couple of other places (cities, presumably). Ohio is pure white, even in rural areas like Morrow County. One could just about believe that's accurate.

      On the other hand, clearly there ARE some problems with the data. For instance, there are a significant number of dots are in the Pacific Ocean, a hundred miles off the coast of Chili, which is
  • The general message is a good one to be reminded of. The precision is not too high I suppose as noted. But damn, that looks way cool as a visual.
  • by brxndxn (461473) on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:44PM (#20876479)
    okay.. so ya take a right at ol' Goog's,
    then, veer left and avoid goats.ex,
    take a pitt stop at fark.com - but don't chat with the locals unless ya' wanna get made fun of,
    drive straight past slashdot, it's just a tourist trap
    take a right at myspace.com.. and be sure to leave them alone. they don't tolerate much
    and there ya are.. PORN!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Aehgts (972561)
      There's something wrong with your tubes if you have to sail that far to reach the ocean of pr0n... :P
  • Already he needs to remove his own burning ruin of a server from the list.
  • I guess the maps would show that the density of Internet connections near Chris Harrison's server was very low, if I could load them.
  • It would be nice if this could be viewed via Google Earth. And if it has been done, sorry, the article is slashdotted.
  • Mirror link (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 05, 2007 @11:58PM (#20876583)
    I have mirrored the maps temporarily at http://www.clearchaos.com/worldBlack.jpg [clearchaos.com] and http://www.clearchaos.com/worlddotblack.jpg [clearchaos.com] at least until my server turns into a smoking ruin.
  • Not so shocking... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NerveGas (168686) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @12:20AM (#20876673)
    "beyond Australia, New Zealand, and parts of South-East Asia, the southern hemisphere has only a peppering of connectivity."

    That's because beyond those countries, the Southern hemisphere only has a peppering of prosperity. If you want to know why, read "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations".
    • Penguins (Score:3, Funny)

      by flyingfsck (986395)
      Well, most of the southern hemisphere is water and although there are penguins in Antarctica they are not really all that into this internet thing...
      • by jd (1658)
        But... but... but... Linux was written by penguins, right?
      • by NerveGas (168686)
        But, the Internet doesn't follow population, it follows prosperity. There are still a lot of people in the lower half, but for the most part, they're poor. Poor people (truly poor, not what we call "poor" in the US) care less about the Internet than about survival.

        Interestingly enough, while I think that the Internet in general doesn't benefit poor (or uneducated) as much as a lot of people do, there are specific ways in which it (and cell phones) have allowed people in remote areas to conduct their busin
  • Look at all the US botnets slamming russia.
  • hmmm (Score:1, Redundant)

    Server is down. It seems they caved to the Slashdot Effect.
  • by AHuxley (892839) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @01:30AM (#20876929) Homepage Journal
    Sean Gorman mapped out the US fiber-optic telco fiefdoms.
    Parts of his dissertation where "removed".
    He showed the choke points and critical links.
  • Wargames [imdb.com] movie and DEFCON [everybody-dies.com] game.
  • by j3w (860785) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @02:43AM (#20877211)
    Every road leads to porn...
  • useless map (Score:5, Interesting)

    by marafa (745042) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @05:02AM (#20877673) Homepage Journal
    in my opinion, this map is useless UNLESS it is overlaying a map of the world. i for one, cannot find the capital city, cairo, of my country, egypt in these maps, only vaguely, but then again, it could also be tel aviv

  • Is it just me or do the city-2-city connections look a little bit grid-like? I suppose it's a drawing artifact, but it certainly makes the graph look more wrong then right, as compared to small arched lines.

  • These maps are neither very useful, nor very pretty. The data visualization methods are a total joke.

    Now, this is a map of the internet:

    http://www.telegeography.com/products/map_internet/index.php [telegeography.com]

    Too bad it costs an arm and a leg.
  • Poor vs Rich (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sapgau (413511) on Saturday October 06, 2007 @12:05PM (#20880099) Journal
    Proves again how incredibly privileged we are.
    This is a definition of third world countries. We are so used to being connected that we take it for granted. Rich countries are perfectly delineated by the amounts of connections they have (USA, Europe, Japan, Southern Australia) and clearly showing that South America, Africa, the Caucasus, India and South Asia are clearly the areas needed to develop.

    Yes some points are visible like Sao Paulo, Johannesburg, Mumbai, etc. But it should be the same for the rest of the world. Similar of the map of the world when illuminated at night by city lights. Connectivity should be as common as electrical power.
    • by argent (18001)
      I just lined that map up with NASA's city lights map, and the correspondence is awfully close, allowing for the low resolution of the internet map: connectivity does seem to be "as common as electric power".

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