Interactive Internet Map

The Internet Map is an interactive, searchable, bubble-filled visualization of the Internet showing 350,000 websites, based on a traffic snapshot of the Internet from late 2011. It has been created by Ruslan Enikeev and went  public on July 24, 2012.

The Internet Map shows each website as a circle, sized according to levels of web traffic. The circle’s colour indicates the country to which it relates. User’s switching between websites forms links, and the stronger the link, the closer the websites tend to arrange themselves to each other. Clusters on the map are semantically charged, they join websites together according to their content.

Internet Map by Ruslan Enikeev

The mathematical model is based on the thesis A Numerical Optimization Approach
to General Graph Drawing, submitted in 1999 by Daniel Tunkelang at the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. The engineering solution is based on the Fast N-Body Simulation with CUDA, described by Lars Nyland and Mark Harris from NVIDIA Corporation and by Jan Prins from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The technologies used  to present the Internet map are Google maps engine for the visual display, Microsoft’s .net technologies for web query processing and Amazon AWS  (S3, Cloudfront, Relational Database Services RDS and Elastic Beanstalk) for hosting and content delivery.

About 30 million picture tiles (256 x 256 pixels) are used to form the map. More than one million unique visitors saw the map during the first week after the project went online.

3D data sculptures

Today 3D sculptures can be created with 3D plotters and standard 3D modelling software. These tools allow digital artists to transform large data sets into a physical form.

~IDENTITÄT – The »Gestalt« of dig­ital identity

A recent project in this area has been done by Jonas Loh and Steffen Fiedler as a bachelor thesis at the Studiengang Interfacedesign of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam, Germany, with the help of the 3D Lab of the TU-Berlin. The project called ~IDENTITÄT – The »Gestalt« of dig­ital identity eval­uates how dig­ital identity is generated to determine pa­ram­e­ters on which a compa­ra­ble anal­yses of the dig­ital identity is pos­sible. The concept, the process and the results are published at the website Photos of the whole project are available at the flickr collection. The project was tutored by Prof. Boris Müller.

Other 3D sculpture projects are :

Voronoi Fractal

A Voronoi diagram is created from a set of points by dividing the plane into regions, where each region consists of the area closest to one of the points. Ken Shirriff published a paper about voronoi fractals ten years ago. Frederik Van Houtte from Belgium created a nice applet with the processing language to generate online voronoi fractals.

Click the applet to generate a new fractal.

A description of the project and the source code are published on Frederiks weblog under a  a Creative Commons license.

NAG : generator

Last update : March 14, 2013

The generator is a project of Cornelia Sollfrank, a postmedia conceptual artist and interdisciplinary researcher and writer. She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and Fine art at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg (1987-1994). Since 1998 she has taught at various universities and wrote on issues in the nexus between media, art and politics. In 2011 Sollfrank completed her practice-led interdisciplinary research at Dundee University (UK) and published her PhD thesis with the title Performing the Paradoxes of Intellectual Property. She has a blog at

The generator automatically produces on demand. The generator is a computer program which collects and recombines material from the Internet to create a new website or a new image. The program requires the user to enter a title which then functions as the search keyword, and to enter a name as the author.

Since 1999 five different versions of the generator have been realized in collaboration with six programmers. All the programmers have chosen PERL to program the generator. Since 2003 all generator scripts are available under GPL (GNU General Public License) on the project’s homepage.

Cornelia Sollfrank published several books available at her shop, one is about the generator.

The nag_04 – moiNAG The Dada Generator was programmed by Richard Leopold. The result is a webpage (HTML document) based on Markov Chains, a Dada HTML structure filled with Dada text.

The following image was created with nag_05 – THE IMAGE GENERATOR. This generator was programmed by Panos Galanis from IAP GmbH, Hamburg, and was a commission by the Volksfürsorge art collection.

Image created with generator

Image created with generator

Julia applet, object, classid, codebase, …

The tags “embed” and “applet” are deprecated and even dropped in the new browser standards like XHTML 1.1. To embed objects within a document, the tag “object” should be used. The main attributes of “object” are:

  • classid : This attribute contains a URL for an object’s implementation. The URL syntax depends upon the object’s type. With ActiveX controls (Internet Explorer), the value of this attribute is not a URL, but an object-id with the prefix clsid. The way to access a Java applet is to use classid=”java: classname.class”. The pseudo-URL java: is used to indicate a Java applet.
  • data : This attribute contains a URL for data required by an object.
  • archive : This attribute contains a URL for the location of an archive file. An archive file typically is used to contain multiple object files to improve the efficiency of access.
  • codebase : This attribute contains a URL to use as a relative base to access the object specified by the classid attribute.
  • codetype : This attribute specifies an object’s MIME type.
  • type : This attribute specifies the MIME type for the object’s data.
  • declare : This attribute declares an object without instantiating it. This is useful when the object will be a parameter to another object.
  • name : Under the Microsoft definition, this attribute defines the name of the control so scripting can access it.
  • standby : This attribute contains a text message to be displayed while the object is loading.
  • width, height : the size of the object

The tag “param” specifies the parameters that are needed by the object to run. Most attributes exist also as parameter elements, but should never be used duplicated, except for the codebase attribute. In the “object” tag, the codebase attribute represents the location from which to download the object (for instance the Java plugin) when it is not found on the local machine. In the “applet” tag, the codebase attribute represents the location from which to download additional class and jar files. To resolve this conflict, the codebase attribute is mapped into a “param” codebase in the “object” tag.

Specific parameters are the following:

  • scriptable : Specifies whether the applet is scriptable from the HTML page using JavaScript or VBScript. The value can be either “true” or “false”.
  • mayscript : Specifies whether the applet is allowed to access “netscape.javascript.JSObject”. The value can be either “true” or “false”.
  • code : Specifies the name of the Java applet or JavaBeans component witout the extension “class”. It cannot be used with “param” element “object” nested inside the same “object” tag.

Microsoft Internet Explorer handles the “object” tag differently than other browser like Firefox, mainly due to the different implementation of the “classid” attribute. To provide multiple browser support, it is necessary to program a conditional settings of the “object”  tag by nesting the tags for IE and for other browsers. An example is shown below with the tiny Julia applet (128 bytes)  created by the russian programmer Konstantin Victorovich Morshnev (alias MoKo).

A detailed tutorial about (Multiple Browser Supported) Java applet using XHTML ‘object’ tag is given by Shayne Steele. A user guide to embed applets in documents with the “object” tag is published by Sun.

Filmer V2.0 – A program for creating fractal animation

last update : august 2010

Filmer is a front-end program for Fractint that generates amazing fractal animation. Fractint is a program for calculating still fractal images (you need Fractint installed to use Filmer). Filmer uses Fractint parameter (.par) files to specify the coordinates and other parameters of a fractal. It then calculates the intermediate frames and calls Fractint to make a continuous animation. Filmer also has many options for pallete rotation and generation.

Filmer has been developed by Julian Haight.

POV-Ray – The Persistence of Vision Raytracer

last update : august 2010

The Persistence of Vision (POV) Raytracer is a high-quality, totally free tool for creating stunning three-dimensional graphics. It is available in official versions for Windows, Mac OS/Mac OS X and i86 Linux. The source code is available for those wanting to do their own ports.

About 20 years ago, I used POV on my Atari Computer to render my first 3D scenes.

A wireframe modeller (Moray) for POV is available at the Official Moray Homepage.