How Do You Map the Internet?

And, while on that subject, what even is the Internet?

Tech
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Given its extensive intertwining with our everyday lives, the Internet remains a deep, amorphous entity whose vastness is rarely comprehended by the average man on the street. In the 40-odd years of the Internet’s existence, there have been numerous attempts to comprehensively visualize the scale of the web, beginning with a simple schematic diagram of the first iteration of the Internet, ARPANET, in 1969, all the way to the present day. WIRED has compiled several of these examples, and while some have attempted to map the physical manifestations of the internet in terms of submarine fiber optic cables spanning the globe and connecting continents, others have chosen to tackle the considerably more complex conceptualization of the Internet’s virtual landscape by way of incredibly dense topological maps. All in all, the breadth of maps surrounding this one subject just goes to show how inconceivable this digital web is to dissect, regardless of how much we trust it with our lives. Head to WIRED now for a look at its selection of maps of the Internet.

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