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Topographic Model Shows Internet as Skyscrapers

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If unique page visits were the bricks that build skyscrapers, which website do you think would have the tallest building? With online bill paying, shopping, and communication it’s possible to never leave home and still have everything you need to survive, so it is almost like the internet has become a virtual city. Korean media artist Sang Un Jeon brings this idea to life in an incredible visualization using internet traffic data and a 3d printer. Since a keyboard is like the vehicle that takes us to this virtual city, he used each letter key to represent the biggest sites on the world wide web. If you look at your keyboard and the image above you can probably figure out that the tallest tower on the G key represents Google and the F to the left of it stands for Facebook.

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The little spaces in between the keys look like sidewalks around each tower in Sang Un Jeon’s virtual city and each skyscraper is modeled after a real building that would be comprable in size. Google is the World Trade Center, Facebook is the Empire State Building, and with 88 million unique visits each month, Ebay (E) is Grand Central Station. The relatively smaller sites like Vimeo and IMDB were not given a building identity, but to see the magnitude of how popular Facebook is compared to some of the others really puts things in perspective. To see the key of what each letter represents and the numbers used to create this visualization, check out Sang Un Jeon’s project page.

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