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This Paper Map Shows the Extent of the Entire Internet in 1973

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This Paper Map Shows the Extent of the Entire Internet in 1973

This Map Shows the Extent of the Entire Internet in 1973

Before the modern internet, there was ARPANET.

ARPANET was the first internet-like network, and it was developed to allow multiple computers to share data across vast geographical distances. Interestingly, the researchers that worked on ARPANET are credited with developing many of the communication protocols that the internet still uses today.

Today’s map comes from David Newbury, who shared a keepsake from his father’s time as a computer science business manager at Carnegie Mellon University in the 1970s. We added a legend to help explain the symbols on the map.

A Brief History of ARPANET

ARPANET was funded in the late 1960s by a branch of the U.S. Military called The Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), with the original purpose being to allow researchers at different universities to use their limited computing resources more efficiently.

Before ARPANET, if a researcher at Harvard wanted to access a database at Stanford, they had to travel there and use it in person. ARPANET was used to test out a new communication technology known as packet-switching, which broke up data into smaller “packets” and allowed various computers on the network to access the data.

With ARPANET researchers could:

  • Login to another computer miles away
  • Transfer and save files across the network
  • Send emails from one person to several others

On the map above, you can see the network only had computers in the United States, but later that same year, a satellite link connected the ARPANET to the United Kingdom, creating the beginnings of a global network.

early internet map 1973

A Network of Networks

In 1983, ARPANET adopted the TCP/IP protocol standards which paved the way for a “network of networks”, and the internet was born. Several years later, ARPANET would be decommissioned and the new internet would begin to flourish.

Below you can see what the early internet looked like in 1984:

ARPANET becomes Internet

A Big Jump

These maps take us back to a simpler time when social networks, mobile phones, and unlimited access to the world’s information did not yet exist. Even 12 years after the first message was transmitted on the ARPANET, there were still only 213 computers on the network.

Fast forward a few decades later and the change in scale is mind-boggling – the modern internet has 1.94 billion websites and 4.1 billion internet users globally, resembling a digital universe.

One can only imagine how quaint the ARPANET will look a few more decades from now.

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Chart of the Week

Visualizing 150 Years of U.S. Employment History

How has the share of total jobs changed over time by sector? This compelling chart shows over 150 years of U.S. employment history by industry.

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Visualizing 150 Years of U.S. Employment History

Where will tomorrow’s jobs come from?

It’s a fair question, and it’s certainly one that is a hot topic of debate among experts trying to figure out the ultimate impact of AI and automation on the global economy.

While no one knows the outcome for sure, what is clear is how the job distribution has changed over time: as jobs in agriculture and manufacturing have disappeared, new jobs have materialized in other sectors.

U.S. Employment by Sector

Today’s chart uses data from the McKinsey Global Institute that shows U.S. employment by sector between the years of 1850 and 2015.

Here is a recap of the data, by sector:

SectorEmployment share change, 1850-2015 (Percentage points)
Trade (retail and wholesale)+12.8
Education+9.9
Health care+9.3
Business and repair services+6.1
Financial services+5.9
Professional services+5.0
Government+4.9
Entertainment+2.2
Utilities+0.8
Telecommunications+0.7
Construction+0.3
Transportation+0.2
Mining-1.3
Manufacturing-3.6
Agriculture-55.9

The agricultural sector was king in 1850, providing a whopping 60% of all U.S. employment.

Much later on, in the mid-20th century, factories took the country by storm. By the year 1960, the high-flying manufacturing sector eventually peaked at a share of 26% of all American jobs.

Of course, for any prospective job seeker in the modern era, it’s rare to see jobs advertised in either of these sectors. That’s because today, they add up to fewer than 13% of the total jobs that exist in the country, and it’s likely these shares will continue to decline as time passes.

An Ever-Changing Landscape

While the eventual impact of AI and automation on the U.S. job picture remains unclear, this above data series does provide some comfort – after all, history doesn’t always repeat, but it often rhymes.

In the timeframe of 1850 to 2015, it’s clear that new technologies came in and disrupted the prevailing industries. Many jobs were lost in key sectors like manufacturing and farming, but they’ve been replaced (so far) with new jobs in other sectors.

With the effects of automation expected to be felt in OECD countries by the mid-2020s, it’s likely we won’t have to wait long to see how things shake out this time around.

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History

The 10 Most Impressive Civil Engineering Projects of All Time

Counting down the most astounding civil engineering projects of all time, from the Great Wall of China to the Golden Gate Bridge. What holds the #1 spot?

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The 10 Most Impressive Civil Engineering Projects of All Time

With every day that passes, thousands of new civil engineering projects are completed around the globe. They might be as simple as building the foundation for a house or as complex as designing a suspension bridge that spans an entire river.

Once in a while, however, a very special type of civil engineering marvel gets finished that is earmarked to forever exist in a league of its own.

Civil Engineering Feats

Today’s infographic comes to us from Norwich University, and it counts down the 10 most impressive civil engineering projects ever completed by humanity.

These unique and extremely bold endeavors tend to exceed all normal standards of size, complexity, and manpower required. They transcend time and bestow wonder upon new generations, showing that incredible feats are possible with the right team, ideas, and expertise at hand.

Some of these projects were also included on the 1994 list of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, put together by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Meanwhile, the Great Pyramid is the only entry from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World list.

Counting Down the Top 10

Here are the projects, going from #10 all the way to #1:

10. Qingdao Haiwan Bridge
This 26.4 mile (42.5 km) bridge was completed in 2011 in China, using 450,000 tons of steel and 3 million cubic yards of concrete.

9. Burj Khalifa
The world’s tallest skyscraper is one of many fascinating projects in Dubai. It reaches 2,717 ft (828 m) in height, almost a full 1,000 ft higher than One World Trade Center in New York.

8. English Channel Tunnel
This 31 mile (50 km) long tunnel is also up to 250 ft (76 m) deep, connecting England and France.

7. Golden Gate Bridge
This historic wonder connects San Francisco to the rest of the bay, and needed an incredible 600,000 rivets in its construction.

6. Hoover Dam
This dam formed the largest man-made lake in the Western Hemisphere, and it generates 4 billion kWh of energy per year.

5. Panama Canal
This 47 mile (77 km) long man-made canal was designed to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to provide trade ships with passage between North and South America. It needed more than 60 million pounds of dynamite to dig.

4. Brooklyn Bridge
The first suspension bridge to use steel in its cables was also the longest in the world at the time of its construction.

3. Aqueduct of Segovia
This amazing aqueduct in Spain was made without the use of mortar, and is so well-preserved that it is still in use today.

2. Great Wall of China
What many people do not know about this enormous 5,500 mile (8,850 km) long wall is that the mortar connecting stones was made from rice flour.

1. Great Pyramid of Giza
This incredible creation is made of 2.3 million stone blocks, which required the constant labor of 30,000 people to build. It was the tallest man-made structure for more than 3,800 years.

A Final Note

The list represents the ranking as done by Norwich University’s civil engineering department, and surely there are other incredible feats that are missed by this ranking. Those would include projects like the Three Gorges Dam in China, the CN Tower, and many other worthy accomplishments.

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