The world of the Internet mirrors the real-world in myriad ways: there are members (we call them populations), websites (destinations to visit), acquisitions of companies (redrawn political boundaries). So what if the Internet could be visualized like our global politics?
That’s exactly what designer Martin Vargic did in this cartographic experiment which treats mega-companies such as Google, Microsoft, HP, and Apple like empires, on a classic world map. To explain the dominance and relationships of these entities, Vargic created a visual hierarchy that gives prominent treatment to companies with the most users (or sites with the most visitors), surrounding them with smaller states and townships named after adjacent businesses.
"My map is divided into two distinct parts," Vargic told The Independent. "The eastern continent, the Old World, showcases software companies, gaming companies, and some of the more real-life oriented websites. The western part, the New World, is composed from two major continents; the northern one showcasing social networks, search websites, video websites, blogs, forums, and art websites."
The map doesn’t adhere to real geography, but Google is roughly where North America would be. It’s many territories—Chrome, Images, YouTube—are displayed around it. Where South America might be, Vargic has created a seedy world of porn, where pirating sites neighboring the states are XHamster and Spank Wire and that ilk. In this way, Vargic's map is also a narrative about how the areas of the Internet work in relation to one another.
Vargic's map is as fictive as a pirate's treasure map; the Internet is an intangible landscape that can be visualized in a number of ways (we've seen it here and here, for example). Imagined or not, this map is still easy to get lost in.