The image above isn’t your average map: it shows the location of all devices connected to the Internet in the world. The redder the area, the more devices there are.
The map was created by John Matherly, founder of the search engine Shodan and self-proclaimed Internet cartographer. To produce it, Matherly sent ping requests on August 2 to every IP address on the Internet and plotted the positive responses. There’s nothing shady or illegal about this; pings are simply network utilities which transmit an echo-request message to an IP address.
It took him just five hours to collect the data, but a further 12 to generate the image. Matherly notes on reddit that his ping requests would only reach devices that are directly connected to the Internet, such as routers. However, he has sometimes picked up smart phones.
According to his Twitter account, he plans to repeat the process and track the results over time. You can see a larger version of his map here.
[Hap tip: Gizmodo and Huffington Post]