The Internet Map depicts 350,000 websites as clusters of planets

Mapping the Internet is no easy feat. Ruslan Enikeev took up the challenge and whipped up this interactive map that charts 350,000 websites with 2 million links from 196 different countries. It probably won't surprise you which website giants dominate the Internet.

Enikeev's Internet Map is not another pretty graphic that resembles a neural network. Presented as a snapshot of the the most trafficked portion of the Internet as of the end of 2011, the Internet Map visualizes the websites in terms their linkage to other relevant websites.

Like any other map, The Internet map is a scheme displaying objects' relative position; but unlike real maps (e.g. the map of the Earth) or virtual maps (e.g. the map of Mordor), the objects shown on it are not aligned on a surface. Mathematically speaking, The Internet map is a bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet. Every site is a circle on the map, and its size is determined by website traffic, the larger the amount of traffic, the bigger the circle. Users' switching between websites forms links, and the stronger the link, the closer the websites tend to arrange themselves to each other.

You can visit the site The Internet Map yourself and search for a website to see where its relative position is, but be warned, there's also a cluster of porn sites in there somewhere (we won't tell you where). Websites created this year or late last year with little traffic are also unlikely to be represented.

Those of you interested in the underlying mathematics that were used to create The Internet Map can check out resources here and here.

The Internet Map, via Flowing Data

(Thanks Brian!)

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