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The Internet in Ancient Times -- 1994

One of the earliest commercially printed "maps" of the internet, published for PC Magazine in 1994.

PC Computing's map provided a schematic map of the internet, highlighting "points of interest" and major sites.

The map is organized around various topics, universities, and interest groups, with color coding for Business, Finance & Economics, Reference & Education, Government, and Technology, organized around major servers and site listings.

The map highlights an early vision of internet use and organization. Just as the printed mapping of the world evolved over the course of 500 years, so it seems that this "vision" of the internet is reflective of the earliest times exploring "the web," and it would be fascinating to imagine how someone without reference to the present map would lay out a similar schematic vision of the web in 2017.

It should be noted that in 1994 the small image of this map shown above would have taken roughly 10 minutes to download and the larger image we provide would have taken more than a full day to download (in truth, both would likely have crashed all but the best computers).


This map comes from the U.K. publication PCDirect, as opposed to the U.S.-based PCComputing.

Interestingly, the structure of the map is completely unchanged between editions, only the text has changed in places. For instance, a hub in the lower-left corner, which on the U.S. edition represented the "Economic Democracy Information Network" has been modified to show "United Kingdom-based WWW Servers". Much of the other information has remained unchanged.