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If the Internet were an 18th century map

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The world of the Internet reproduced on a map and viewable as if it were a geographical map of past centuries: the idea came to a young Slovakian artist and graphic designer of 23, Martin Vargic, who was inspired by the work of the cartoonist and programmer to give it substance Rundal Monroe, in particular to the Online Community Map created in 2007 for the Xkcd webcomic.

The Vargic map (visible here) it is in a version that also picks up a bit lo stile National Geographic and depicts cyberspace replacing countries with i 3000 most visited sites internationally, according to the Alexa rankings.

The project, whose first draft dates back to 2013, has been gradually improved and currently is updated to the situation recorded in the two-year period 2020/2021: tries to offer a comprehensive and visually understandable overview of the state of the Web.

The founders as if they were the capitals
In the map, the sites are grouped into continents and regions according to the different categories they belong to (news, social networks, search engines, e-commerce, software companies, and so on). In more detail, they come represented over 10 thousand between cities and countries, whose territorial dimension corresponds to the different traffic data, which constitute sub-divisions of these larger areas. Founders e managing directors appear in place of the capitals and i colors used reflect the reality of the sites they represent, based on the dominant ones in the interface or logo.

Mountains, seas, hills and valleys refer to aspects of culture and technology, with the names of the most important IT pioneers and of the Net that correspond to the oceanic ridges: “At the center of the scene – ha Vargic explained – there are Internet Service Providers and browsers, which are the core and backbone of the Net, while the mysterious world of the Dark Web it is located on the edge of the far south “.

In addition, the map contains a list of the most popular sites and best-selling video games, information on major Internet related companies and the list of blocked sites in China. Below you can see smaller maps, referring to the real world, which show the percentage of the online population, the cost and the speed of broadband o the degree of censorship on the web, country by country.

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The past to represent the future
Martin Vargic, who also offers prints of his work, is aware that this work must constantly deal with the changes in progress: the map is pressed by the continuum dynamism of the Internet world, with many sites and phenomena of the Net past and fallen into oblivion.

Today it is registered the rise of Zoom e TikTok, but this map, at least in the intentions of the author, serves and will serve to provide indications and contribute to a greater understanding of the modern, chaotic and complex, Internet ecosystem. Succeeding even with images of an ancient style.


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