While curiosity around the Internet has loomed since its inception, no one has been able to explain what the Internet physically looks like. Today, I’m excited to share that we have officially launched our Map of the Internet app, which provides a stunning 3D visualization of the Internet and all of its autonomous systems worldwide, as well as how they are connected.
In 2011, we took the first step in developing this visualization with the debut of our Map of the Internet infographic poster. Driven by our continued passion for all things having to do with networking, we designed this app to further bring to life what the Internet looks like – and how the various autonomous components interact to connect the world. While it’s certainly cool and a fun app, we think of the Map of the Internet app as an educational tool that represents the Internet’s evolution from 1994 to present day, highlighting key moments, like the launch of Internet heavyweights Facebook and Google, for example.
UPDATE: CNNMoney has posted a video review and demonstration of the app here.
Users can view Internet service providers (ISPs), Internet exchange points, universities and other organizations through two view options – Globe and Network. The app also allows users to generate a trace route between where they are located to a destination node, search for where popular companies and domains are, as well as identify their current location on the map.
Similar to the poster, the app’s timeline is rooted in real data that uses timeline visualization to display 22,961 autonomous system nodes joined by 50,519 connections based on Internet topology from our partner in this project, CAIDA. We were also able to project what the Internet will look like in 2020 by using an algorithm based on current data, as well as predictions for the growth of the hosting industry by various independent research agencies. You can discover for yourself what the Internet looks like by downloading the app from the AppStore and Google Play. Have fun exploring; we’ll see you out there.
DOWNLOAD MAP OF THE INTERNET APP
It takes a lot of talented people to pull a project like this together. Below is a list of all the people involved in developing the app that we would like to thank.
Concept and Design – Rajan Sodhi, Kyle Dickau, Victor Swarovski, Ramon Vawda, and Skyler Richter.
Computational Data Visualization – Jeff Johnston
App Development – Steamclock Software
Special Thanks to Open Source Projects – MBProgressHUD, Vectormath, TTTAtributedLabel, Boost, jsoncpp, ASIHTTPRequest, and SCPinions.