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a brief history of the internet

these drawings, all of which are taken from several internet sites, show the development of connected nodes (i.e. computers that communicate with each other) through the internet. additionally, there are maps that try to visualize what this huge network of content has become. and i am thankful that at least one of the future commodities which i dreamt of when i was a teenager, has really had become a chance of being real.

can you see yourself standing somewhere here?

1969: the birth of the internet (then still named ARPAnet)

1969: a 4-node-map of the ARPAnet (consisting of 4 university computers at UCLA)

1971: the ARPAnet is growing…

…and growing… (1973)

…and growing… (1975)

1983: the ARPAnet now is surrounded by several different other communication networks; it is not yet clear what will become out of the structure.

1987: some bigger players cristallize out of the internet primordial soup

1987: this map shows the “skeleton” of the physical connections of data connection in the internet, the NSF backbone structure still existing today

1988: the NCAR network; still it's all about science and university communication…

1992: the main internet connections just for the U.S.A. - we're talking already megabits of data flow channels here!

1999: like a flower blooming, the internet webmap explodes with the widespreading of the html website language and the WWW.

2005: this fireworks is a global map of nodes just hsowing the growing density of connections…

…and growing again… (2006)

…and still growing (2007); showing where the main data transfer takes place between europe and the U.S.

2007: same map, now showing the density of available internet servers

2010: it's more or less impossible to “draw” the internet anymore; instead, on this map only the main channels and connection densities are shown

2010: this map also tries to visualize connection intensity and data transfer lines in a more or less abstract way…

…but maybe the internet really looks like this?

…or like this?

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    There are 9 comments, add yours!

    • # Miclaud

      very interesting!
      Well, I saw myself on #17... in the center (Martinique - Caribbean)

      2010.10.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Abe Jackson

      Great presentation..I followed the beginnings for a bit and really got pissed off when the viruses started floating around. How could we do that to ourselves?

      2010.10.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Moira

      Well thanks for complicating my understanding of this world even more!!!!!
      BTW no12 is going into my favourites

      2010.10.02 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Lyency

      we started networking by studying the ARPA network then the many levels of protocols of data transmission. after a while, in the mid seventies, we could connect the computer in budapest to the one in vienna using regular telephone line and without asking the permission of the police. shortly after we build and operated a national terminal network containg 2-3 terminal stations with card reader, line printer and consol, plus a few teletype terminals for data collection. but we had no idea about the highest level user interface protocol, what it should be used for, how it should look like. no one could predict anything similar to the worldwide web...

      2010.10.02 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Agnes Felber

      Mind boggling, truly, especially for those of us, who lived and functioned as adults in an internetless world...how human existence has been changed by all of this!

      2010.10.01 Edited Reply Cancel

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