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 Norway, creating the beginnings of a global network.
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:
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.
An earlier version of this article said the ARPANET was first connected internationally to the United Kingdom, but in fact, it was with Norway.
Visualizing the Top U.S. States for AI Jobs
Nearly 800,000 AI jobs were posted in the U.S. throughout 2022. View this graphic to see a breakdown by state.
Visualizing the Top U.S. States for AI Jobs
Much ink has been spilled over fears that artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate jobs in the economy. While some of those fears may be well-founded, red-hot interest in AI innovation is creating new jobs as well.
This graphic visualizes data from Lightcast, a labor market analytics firm, which shows how many AI-related jobs were posted in each state throughout 2022.
In total there were 795,624 AI jobs posted throughout the year, of which 469,925 (59%) were in the top 10. The full tally is included in the table below.
|Rank||State||Number of job postings||% of total|
The following chart adds some context to these numbers. It shows how the percentage of AI job postings in some of the top states has changed since 2010.
We can see that California quickly became the primary destination for AI jobs in the early 2010s, presumably as Silicon Valley companies began developing the technology.
California’s share has since declined, with a significant number of jobs seemingly moving to Texas. In fact, many tech companies are relocating to Texas to avoid California’s relatively higher taxes and cost of living.
The 10 Most In-Demand Specialized Skills
Lightcast also captured the top 10 specialized skills that were required for AI-related jobs. These are listed in the table below.
|Skill||Frequency (number of postings)||Frequency (% of postings)|
|Amazon Web Services||155,615||19%|
If you’re interested in a career that focuses on AI, becoming proficient in Python is likely to be a good first step.
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