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The Internet Map - Fascinating Ways to Visualize the Web

2012-07-31 - 07:29:44 by PeterThoeny in General
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The Internet Map (click to enlarge)
Internet-map
Ruslan Enikeev created a cool interactive map of the Internet. The four biggest circles are google.com, facebook.com, youtube.com and yahoo.com. TWiki.org is a tiny spec next to facebook.com.

In total, the whole map depicts 350,000 sites and two million links from 196 countries. Each site is represented by a circle, whose size depends on the amount of traffic, and the space between each one is determined by the frequency with which users jump from one to another. Enikeev explains:

As one might have expected, the largest clusters are formed by national websites, i.e. sites belonging to one country. For the sake of convenience, all websites relative to a certain country carry the same color. For instance, the red zone at the top corresponds to Russian segment of the net, the yellow one on the left stands for the Chinese segment, the purple one on the right is Japanese, the large light-blue central one is the American segment, etc.

Importantly, clusters on the map are semantically charged, i.e. they join websites together according to their content. For example, a vast porno cluster can be seen between Brazil and Japan as well as a host of minor clusters uniting websites of the same field or similar purposes.

The Internet Map can be accessed at internet-map.net. The author is an individual asking for a donation - I encourage you to donate a buck or two to the project.

I find it fascinating how data of the Internet can be visualized, sometimes in an artful manner.

In 2010, Facebook intern Paul Butler was interested in the locations of friendships, so he decided to create a visualization of Facebook connections around the globe. How local are our friends? Where are the highest concentration of friendships? How do political and geological boundaries affect them? The result is this stunning graph. Paul started by using a sample of 10 million friend pairs, correlated them with their current cities and then mapped that data using the longitude and latitude of each city.

Facebook relationships map (click to enlarge)
fb-relationships

Creating the right effect to show connecting relationships between thousands of cities proved to be a challenge. Paul wrote in a Facebook note that just drawing lines to show the connections resulted in big white blobs, so he had to look for a better solution:

Instead I found a way to simulate the effect I wanted. I defined weights for each pair of cities as a function of the Euclidean distance between them and the number of friends between them. Then I plotted lines between the pairs by weight, so that pairs of cities with the most friendships between them were drawn on top of the others. I used a color ramp from black to blue to white, with each line’s color depending on its weight. I also transformed some of the lines to wrap around the image, rather than spanning more than halfway around the world.

With a few more tweaks, he eventually came up with the amazing visualization you see here. At first glance, it provides some expected data; the U.S. has the highest concentration of Facebook friendships, and Africa has the lowest concentration. While most of Russia and Antarctica are nowhere to be found, the rest of the world is easily identifiable. And all this without a map of the world! As you can see this looks remarkably similar to NASA's Earth at Night image.

Earth at Night by NASA (click to enlarge)
Earth at night

Here is another nice visualization: People from around the world visiting TWiki.org. This graph is created by aggregating TWiki.org traffic of the last 30 days, mapping IP addresses to geolocation, then collating nearby geolocations into dots of variable sizes based on frequency. The dots are then placed on the map of Earth.

TWiki.org visitor map (click to enlarge)
TWiki.org visitors

In 2011, Google introduced Google Search Volume by Language tool, which presents a very nice visual representation of how people around the world are searching in terms of the languages of their searches. The color of the columns represents the language, the height of columns depicts the search volume.

Google search volume by language (click to enlarge)
Google search volume by language

-- PeterThoeny, founder of TWiki.org

References:

Comments

There is also this internet visualization http://mapternet.com You can open your site on it by linking like http://mapternet.com/#url=twiki.org Green lines show inbound traffic and red outbound.

-- Alex Wrex - 2012-11-18

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