Architect’s Gorgeous Portraits Show Internet’s “Connectedness”
An architect set out to determine how connected websites are. The results made for gorgeous, intricate images.
Image by Dr. Martyn Dade-Robertson
We always hear about how increasingly connected we all are. And nowhere is that more apparent than in the tangled web we’ve woven with the Internet.
British architect Martyn Dade-Robertson wondered just how connected the Internet is, so he began studying websites and how their hyperlinks connected them to other pages across the web.
“I’m interested in how the web is often conceived as a city,” he said.
So the professor at the U.K.’s Newcastle University took to creating maps of how websites link to each other. The networks turn out to be pretty complex, even for the simplest sites.
“The complexity was beautiful,” said Dade-Robertson, who—as a side project—turned his network maps into breathtaking portraits of Internet connectedness.
Dade-Robertson produced this image of the Information Aesthetics weblog site using “radiating nodes” to show how the site links to older content and to itself.
“The images show web pages—or any object on a website with its own URL—as nodes, and the hyperlink relationships between them as links,” he said. “The nodes which are most linked gravitate together, while those which are not linked tend to repel one another.”
Think about it this way: Websites tend to link to similarly themed sites—entertainment sites link to other entertainment sites, news sites to other news sites.
With network maps, related web pages create clusters of tightly linked nodes; less connected pages attach to each other with radial lines like the spokes in a wheel.
Published December 11, 2013