John Chamberlain
Developer Diary
 Developer Diary · You Heard It Here First · Wednesday 21 January 2004
Mapping the Internet
My recent problem with a dalek has increased my interest in the topology of the internet. Various approaches have been invented to collect information about the shape of the internet and represent it. One way is to show the internet as sort of an abstract colored sphere. Examples of this would be The Opte Project and Cheswick and Burch. They measure the internet in "pookies".

There are also schematic approaches. Some good schematic maps have been published by CyberGeography Research in its Atlas of Cyperspace. These are good for getting a general feel of the overall topology.

More useful are mapping efforts that try to relate ISP networks and IP addresses to geography. For example, a company called Caida has a Java applet called Mapnet that does this. Another interesting resource is GeoBytes. GeoBytes will actually let you type in an IP address to locate the machine. Naturally I typed in the dalek's address, The result? Manchester, New Hampshire (98% certainty). Fascinating. The daleks are in league with rural fascists. I knew it. I am closing in on the evil little sucker.

Just for fun I put in my IP address as well and sure enough, Natick, MA (89% certainty). I cannot hide.

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