# The Map of the Internet

Some additional information on the map in today’s comic:

The labeled websites (“Google”, “Flickr”, “Slashdot”, etc) are just based on the location of the particular server I got when I pinged the site from my home machine on the day I was working on the map. Each site there has many servers and mirrors, and the IP of each may change from day to day. But their location is actually based on both the first and second quad — although the map is drawn in the style of a geographic map, with wobbly borders, it’s laid atop a regular grid which can be extended fractally downward. When I was putting down the location of a server for a particular website, I worked out where within the grid it should fall. This isn’t really for the purpose of telling you anything useful about that website, but rather to suggest that IPs can be placed as unique points on this map. Everything here was done by hand across a couple large sheets of paper, and it’s not trying to be completely accurate in all the details (although I did my best). It’s more of a survey than a practical road map.

The fractal behind the comic is a mapping of the integers to a plane (it could be extended, I assume, to the real numbers). I came up with it in 1999 when I was trying to figure out a way to graphically show the contents of long blocks of computer memory, which is basically linear. I wanted a mapping that would show strings of consecutive addresses as contiguous, compact blobs, and that would work on all scales. I played with and coded a couple mappings, but this was the only one I found that really fit that qualification.

Edit: The fractal is the Hilbert Curve, discovered in 1887. I had done some poking around but had never seen it before. Thank you, folks here and on IRC. It cannot be extended to the reals, but rather to the binary fractions (a subset of the rationals). This lets you get arbitrarially close to any number you want (and cover all the IEEE floating points).

I never come up with an algorithm to do the mapping — that is, a function that would take an integer and return the pair of coordinates. Years later, several months ago, I remembered the mapping and showed it to my cousin, who looked at it for a while and worked out a Scheme algorithm to do the mapping both ways.

Edit: I will be posting a version of the algorithm ASAP.

However, I also posed the problem as a puzzle to the forums:

I posted a sample of the mapping mangled into an integer-to-integer function and asked people to come up with the next set of numbers. The mangling was in part to make it less obvious what they were playing with and in part to encourage a different way of thinking about the problem. I informally offered two xkcd t-shirts as prizes for whoever provided the first correct answer and the most elegant algorithm. BaldAdonis very quickly took apart the problem (very impressively) and will — once I’m finished with this batch of shipping — get at least one t-shirt (depending on whether someone else finds an algorithm to do the mapping more elegantly). The other shirt is still up in the air. I’ll leave it open for the next week or two, and if you want to send me a piece of elegant and easily-executed code that does this mapping — taking in a number and returning the coordinates (bonus points for the reverse operation) — you’ll have a shot at winning a free xkcd t-shirt of your choice. (Note: for the next few days I’ll be working on t-shirt orders and then I have a wedding to go to, so I may not be able to check over your code until next this week.)

Suggestions for future work: When I was constructing the map, I also did some ping surveys of the various /8 networks to see how densely populated with active hosts each one was. The density data didn’t make it into the simpler final map, but that’s just one of many data sets one could slap up on a map like this to visualize the ‘net in an interesting way.

## 147 replies on “The Map of the Internet”

1. Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before. Thanks for making such a cool post.

Liked by 1 person

2. Excellent post and people around the world will certainly get much through reading it. I’ll come back again and again to read such articles. Thanks
terrazzo werkblad

Like

3. I was searching for an article for my research and i suddenly visited this website and got a lot of informative data from here which proved quiet helpful for me, i am glad to get it.

Like

4. Thanks for sharing so significative article with us. I agree with your idea competely.I am looking forward to another great article from you.

Like

5. great post and people around the world will certainly get much through reading it. I’ll come back again and again to read such articles. Thanks

Like

6. I will be coming back soon thanks for the great article. I have read it all and get some information on your website.

Like

7. Der Bye Bra Klebe-BH besteht aus selbstklebender Folie in
Hufeisenform, welche es ermöglicht die Brustwarzen um einige
Zentimeter nach oben zu positionieren

Like

8. Der Bye Bra Klebe-BH besteht aus selbstklebender Folie in

Hufeisenform, welche es ermöglicht die Brustwarzen um einige

Zentimeter nach oben zu positionieren

Like

9. Klebe BH | Brust-anhebenden Push-up Klebe BH wird von 3M hergestellt und eignet sich perfekt für trägerlose oder rückenfreie und strapless Kleidung
klebe bh

Like

10. I acknowledge the same best work from you at some point or an alternate later.

Like

11. I’m looking for good news and ideas. This is a good give ,Keep up the good work!

Like

12. Thank you for your sharing! I really like to read it,So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject .

Like

13. It was worth visiting your blog and I have bookmarked your blog. Hope to visit again

Like

14. Insightful post! so i know a little things from ur post (Map of the Internet)

Like

15. Thank you for your sharing! I really like to read it,So good to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject

Like

16. It has really superior journal! I always accurately came here from http://klebebh.ch that thoughts to be eager material confront raise recording in the earth and it’s rattling useable.

Like

17. As an IT expert this blog is very useful for me, its topic is outstanding.

Like

18. All in all, this isn’t a big deal and I don’t think there’s anything particularly evil about it. It does make it hard to use Google hits as an accurate gauge of anything, but I suppose if you’re trying to study something by seriously analyzing Google result counts, you have bigger methodological problems to worry about.

Like

19. Partition Do you know what I want to talk a little bit about it. Partition is a wall that separates space from each other, if you want to gain more information go to the following website

Like

20. It has real superior blog! I always accurately came here from http://klebebh.ch that thoughts to be enthusiastic resinous portion antipasti tapeline in the humans and it’s really functional.

Like

21. “This is an intriguing website. It is a very worldly bra. I rightful came from other webpage which is http://klebebh.ch. They human also a very cosmopolitan bra. It is a klebe BH!”

Like

22. Thank you very much., You are a good writer.
In addition to art that will give you good
I congratulate you

Like

23. That thoughts to be enthusiastic resinous portion antipasti tapeline in the humans and it’s really functional.

Like

24. mangled says:

I published a example of the applying mangled into an integer-to-integer operate and requested. computer desk

Like

25. set says:

individuals to come up with the next set of figures. The mangling was in aspect to create it less apparent what they were enjoying with and in aspect to motivate. executive desk

Like

26. ntistr says:

I published a example of the applying mangled into an integer-to-integer operate and. Drivers

Like

27. ntis says:

Requested individuals to come up with the next set of figures. The mangling was. Drivers for windows

Like

28. hjklop says:

The marked si are just in accordance with the place of the particular server I got when I pinged the website from my house device on the day I was operating on the map. official sites

Like

29. Wolfram Alpha says:

I have been an active customer of Amazon.com for many years and have NEVER been anything but well pleased with their prices and service. very good value for your money. It will do a few, then has problems. I really wanted to like these headphones, and I was uncomfortable with the price. all of these for sale

Like

30. This is admittedly annoying, but not impossible to deal with. I have had Buck knives for a long time. His assuredly manipulative means of extracting the story from convicted murderer, Perry Smith, doesn’t so much question the ethics of a reporter butter stroking his subject in exchange for information, as I have heard of this film, but instead justifies a very excellent investigative reporter feeding the public’s insatiable desire to know what happened that night in November, 1959. I use this until my children are at least 4 years old. Now swimming, so these putty buddies fit firmly and stop water getting in which can be painful. Surprise! The indicator said that my filter was in perfect working order. I ordered 1 6.5 oz but received 3!!! That was awesome. It worked like a charm. This was and interesting and captivating story which I really enjoyed and hope everyone else does now, and in the future. ***update on this problem*** I sent an email to get it returned through BabyAge and because it was two days past the 30 day return policy they wouldn’t do anything.

Like

31. i really enjoyed to visit this site.it is a very nice site and i book mark ur site.

This is a nice content with lots of information. It’s a very excellent idea for raising money for charity. I think honest review is more important for authors. I like your whole discussion. Keep it up.
Keep blogging.ur site is good.and finelly ur site going to in high position

This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest blogger I ever saw.
Thank you for this very interesting infographic ! I’m talking about Google Venice on my blog.

Like

32. Awkwardness says:

Still, #xkcd-signal is a community path — if you just want to execute actions with the moderator/concept, please use #moderator-sandbox. visit the website

Like

33. Good post on the map of the internet and the schema that they used. It is a safe guess that the items you have linked to gives us more explanations. Well done.

Like

34. Amazing! I also wish him good luck to defend his gold medal. I like to share it with all my friends and hope they will also encourage him.
http://partytent-flevoland.nl

Like

35. I’ve desired to post about something similar to this on one of my blogs and this has given me an idea. Cool Mat.

Like

36. Every post containing a lot of information has its own value and everybody love it.

Like

37. Hi this an interesting article. You have described very well. Really descriptive post you have shared with us.

Like

38. are some says:

Years later, several months ago, I remembered the mapping and showed it to my cousin, who looked at it for a while and worked out a Scheme algorithm to do the mapping both ways. Scott Stratten

Like

39. This could be one specific with the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Really Wonderful. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

Like

40. Thank you for your sharing! I really like to read it……

Like

41. I was searching for an article for my research and i suddenly visited this website and got a lot of informative data from here which proved quiet helpful for me, i am glad to get it.

Like

42. great post and people around the world will certainly get much through reading it. I’ll come back again and again to read such articles. Thanks

Like

43. Suggestions for future work: When I was constructing the map, I also did some ping surveys of the various /8 networks to see how densely populated with active hosts each one was. The density data didn’t make it into the simpler final map, but that’s just one of many data sets one could slap up on a map like this to visualize the ‘net in an interesting way.

Like

44. sultankhan1212 says:

I wanted a mapping that would show strings of consecutive addresses as contiguous, compact blobs, and that would work on all scales. I played with and coded a couple mappings, but this was the only one I found that really fit that qualification. tips for moving

Like

45. There is nothing says:

It does make it hard to use Google hits as an accurate gauge of anything, but I suppose if you’re trying to study something by seriously analyzing Google result counts, you have bigger methodological problems to worry about. Chicago website design Yelp

Like

Comments are closed.