Taxonomy of Internet Maps

A fews ago I posted my growing collection of hand-drawn maps of the internet. (If you’d like to contribute one, there’s a button to download the blank PDF.) The intent behind this effort is to capture the unconscious layout that ordinary people have in mind when they navigate the internet. In posting the images on Flickr I suggested that they would make great fodder for a creative scholar. Much to my surprise two days later, a professor in Argentina wrote the first paper with a first attempt to classify this initial set of maps.

Mara Vanina Oses is a psychologist and professor of media at the Psychology School at the University of Buenos Aires. You can view her report (PDF) here.

A few samples of her results:

Picture 25

…Even when a lot of people have the idea that Internet is the network of networks a lot more don’t have yet this idea; they see the Internet as a connection with a center (star) as a way to get to the rest of the items (mesh) or as a simple line of items.

Picture 24

So far we have that 2 out of 5 people consider themselves as the center of Internet and 1 out of 5 can’t place him/herself there (either because he/she could be anywhere or because doesn’t found a place).


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