Opte Project

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Visualization from the Opte Project of the various routes through a portion of the Internet in 2005

The Opte Project, created in 2003 by Barrett Lyon,[1] seeks to generate an accurate representation of the breadth of the Internet using visual graphics.[2][3] Lyon believes that his network mapping can help teach students more about the Internet while also acting as a gauge illustrating both overall Internet growth and the specific areas where that growth occurs.[2]

The project has gathered notice worldwide having been featured by Time[4], Cornell University[5], New Scientist[6], and Kaspersky Lab.[7] In addition, Opte Project maps have found homes in at least two art galleries and exhibits such as The Museum of Modern Art[8] and the Museum of Science's Mapping the World Around Us permanent exhibit.[9] To this end, prints of various Opte Project maps are available for purchase online via the project website.[10]

At least 3 maps are shown on the Opte website each representing a visual snapshot of the Internet at that specific point in time. The first snapshot was taken in 2003 and the most recent (as of August 8, 2017) was taken in 2015.[11]

All content is licensed under a Creative Commons license[12] and while use of The Opte Image is free for all non-commercial applications, a license fee is required for all others.[10][13]


  1. ^ "The Opte Project - FAQ". www.opte.org. LyonLabs LLC, Barrett Lyon. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  2. ^ a b "The Opte Project - About". www.opte.org. LyonLabs LLC, Barrett Lyon. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  3. ^ "Visual Complexity - Opte Project section". www.visualcomplexity.com. VisualComplexity.com. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  4. ^ "See What the Internet Actually Looks Like". www.time.com. Time, Inc. July 13, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Opte Project and Visualizing the Internet". blogs.cornell.edu. Cornell University. September 13, 2016. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  6. ^ "Internet mapping project weaves colourful web". www.newscientist.com. New Scientist, Ltd. November 28, 2003. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  7. ^ "7 amazing maps of the Internet". www.kaspersky.com. Kaspersky Lab. November 3, 2015. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "MOMA - Opte Project item". www.moma.org. Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  9. ^ "Mapping the World Around Us". www.mos.org. Museum of Science. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  10. ^ a b "The Opte Project - Prints\Licenses". www.opte.org. LyonLabs LLC, Barrett Lyon. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  11. ^ "The Opte Project - The Internet". www.opte.org. LyonLabs LLC, Barrett Lyon. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  12. ^ "Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) license". creativecommons.org. Creative Commons. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  13. ^ "Barrett Lyon Website - Philanthropy section". www.blyon.com. Barrett Lyon. Retrieved August 8, 2017.

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