Internet has become a crucial part of our lives and it seems that we simply can’t just live without it. A pictorial demonstration of this has been created by an internet cartographer and computer scientist by the name of John Matherly who has crafted a world wide web (map of the world) that displays all the connected devices in the world.
This was made possible by making use of a software that allowed him to ‘ping’ all these devices and the reply that he got from them helped him in come up with this map. The signal, in most cases, was sent to routers instead of individual devices, however, Mr Matherly pointed out that iPhone and Android maps have already been made previously. It took him about five hours to ping all the devices on 2nd August and took him 12 hours more to create the map.
The density of devices is related to the color being used. The red areas depict a large number of web-enable devices whereas green areas are reserved for lower number of devices. The black areas, as expected, are areas with no signal whatsoever. However, Mr. Matherly pointed out that the map is not precise because a number of organizations don’t allow ping requests. This can be seen when it comes to China where the firewall prevents the signal to be returned.
Mr. Matherly said; ‘There’s basically not a lot of information available on where an IP address is located within China, which makes mapping it very difficult. The majority of devices simply get lumped into Shanghai or Beijing, even though they might be located somewhere else within the country.’
Further explaining how the map was created, he says; ‘The data was generated using a stateless scanner used to create Shodan (a computer search engine that he founded). A free, open-source scanner called Zmap is readily available for anybody that wants to do it themselves, and the map itself was generated using the Python matplotlib library.’