Note: This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
I remember studying physics in high school. By day I’d learn about protons, neutrons and electrons, and how small things could be. And in the afternoon I’d come home and read about astronomy, and get my telescope out at night to explore. I was learning a sense of the scale of the universe, and where I fit – as humbling as that was. Well, I’ve been doing something similar this afternoon on The Internet Map.
Carmen introduced me to the site after reading a thread on the forums started by ftofvnt. His first comment is: “We are very small.” This dynamic website gives you a great sense of proportion where our sites fit in the Internet universe. It’s true that compared with Facebook and Google.com we look extremely small – like comparing the earth to the sun. But other sites are microscopic compared with ours.
TortoiseTree added his own sense of scale:
That’s an interesting piece of perspective, especially comparing AudioJungle to VideoHive, CodeCanyon and 3DOcean. I’m shocked at ThemeForest, it’s apparently bigger than all of Envato! And then when you zoom out enough you see how tiny we are compared to Facebook and Google.
The Internet Map is a fun site to explore. It represents every site on the Internet with a circle whose radius gives an indication of the traffic it receives. The bigger the circle, the bigger the traffic. You can zoom in and out to see more or less detail. I first checked the site out on my iPad, so it was a fun pinch and zoom affair. Once you start exploring, it’s hard to stop.
The map is a non-commercial project by Rusian Enikeev. He explains in the site’s About page how the design of the site was inspired by physics in many ways, as well as the Semantic Web. The map is a snapshot of the Web in late 2011, and includes over 350,000 sites.
This is how he describes the site:
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.
Have you explored The Internet Map yet? What did you discover?