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    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Mapping the Internet

    My new hero is Randall Munroe. I've been reading his online comic for a while, because I figure as long as I continue to get the jokes, I'll be able to claim higher than average intelligence. It's comedy that makes you smart. is all done with stick figures, yet it's action-packed and intelligently funny. But it's also occasionally really vulgar (you were warned) and sometimes so painfully obscure I find myself searching online for clues about whatever he referenced that went over my head.

    I've thought for a while that Mr. Munroe has an anachronistic streak, noting such comics as Tabletop Roleplaying and Open Source. But now he has proved himself as a most worthy cartographer with his latest comic effort, this Map of Online Communities.

    The land area is determined by the number of members in each online community. As you can see, MySpace is huge. Peruse this fine map and see if you can get any or all of the inside jokes he has included. Such as the one about anthropomorphic dragons.

    I'll point out an extra 'easter egg' as well. Each comic contains a message within the metadata of the file. This one reads: "I'm waiting for the day when, if you tell someone 'I'm from the internet', instead of laughing they just ask 'oh, what part?'

    He really goes the extra mile to make sure your XKCD experience is rich and exciting!

    His other Map of the Internet isn't quite as pretty as this one, but it's certainly worth a look if you have ever been curious as to how IP addresses might look if mapped out on a plane using fractal mapping that preserves grouping.

    Wow, don't you feel smarter already?

    1 comment:

    1. The first thing I thought when I saw the map's shape is that it looks almost exactly like the map of Brittania from the Ultima games from the 80s and early 90s. The resemblance is uncanny.


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