Visualizing the Early Internet

NSFNET T1 Backbone and Regional Networks, 1991

This image is a visualization study of inbound traffic measured in billions of bytes on the NSFNET T1 backbone for the month of September 1991. The traffic volume range is depicted from purple (zero bytes) to white (100 billion bytes). It represents data collected by Merit Network, Inc.

NSFNET

Visualization by Donna Cox & Robert Patterson,
National Center for Supercomputing Applications,
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

NSFNET Sept 91 jpeg at 1280×960 resolution
NSFNET Sept 91 jpeg at 3631×2732 resolution
NSFNET Sept 91 tiff at 3631×2732 resolution

(628 MB 1920×1080 ProRes Quicktime)
(322 MB 1280×720 ProRes Quicktime)

 


ANS/NSFNET T3 Backbone and Client Networks, 1994

This image represents byte traffic into the ANS/NSFNET T3 backbone from its client networks for the month of December '94. The virtual connections, colored by traffic level, visualize traffic statistics collected by Merit Network Incorporated. December marks the last heavy usage month prior to the NSFNET's decommissioning in April of '95. Backbone service has now transitioned to a number of commercial carriers.

NSFNET

ANS/NSFNET Dec. 94 image at 1280×963 resolution
ANS/NSFNET Dec. 94 image at 3992×3002 resolution

A view from 45 degrees with US geometry

NSFNET

ANS/NSFNET Dec. 94 image at 1280×938 resolution
ANS/NSFNET Dec. 94 image at 4096×3002 resolution


NSFNET 60 second animation (1992)


NSFNET Backbone evolves from 1986 to its topology in 1992

A visualization of byte traffic into the backbone over a two year period

Fade up international connections representing byte traffic into the US

Ending with a global view of international collaboration

 

(628 MB 1920×1080 ProRes Quicktime)
(322 MB 1280×720 ProRes Quicktime)