Earlier this week I spent some time shopping for Internet service providers (ISPs). I was amazed by the variety of providers here in Utah, but what was even more amazing was how difficult it was to find exactly what I wanted. The biggest problem is that I can’t decide how much bandwidth I really need. I want to be able to play Halo online or download an HD movie while my roommate watches Netflix, but if I can get by with less bandwidth, I can save loads of money. If I go with the big pipe, I might pay out the nose—it’ s a tough decision, so I had to think a little bit.
Wondering about bandwidth issues and the availability of so many things online got me thinking a little about the net itself, and wondering how large it actually is—how much is there for me to find?
Luckily, I found this really awesome article onVisual.ly that explores various attempts to map the Internet. From these maps a few things are pretty clear.
Some websites are gigantic, and the web is a massive universe of information:
People also access the Internet at all different times of day, as shown by this map of Internet usage by time of day:
People also talk to each other and share information about many different things, as seen in this map of popular sub-threads on Reddit:
At the end of it, the Internet is pretty stupendous. Here’s a picture of a squishy little puppy I found there:
I guess I’d better pay for the big pipe after all.