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Themesicon: navigation pathMapping and Texticon: navigation pathInternetmapping
UUNet (Dodge, Martin), 1997

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how a particular network could expedite their travel needs. As a consequence, there is a long (dis)honourable tradition of promotional maps being used to highlight the advantages of the latest transportation network such as canals, oceanic shipping lines, railroads, highways and of course airlines.[8] Given that the provision of Internet network services is a highly competitive business, dominated by large corporations many of whom operate globally, effective marketing is a vitally important activity. Here, maps are employed to provide a selective and positive view of a network, emphasizing its extent (e.g. demonstrating the geographic reach of the network, emphasizing all the distant places that are linked together) and capabilities (e.g. illustrating the tremendous capacity of the ‹pipes› of the network to cope with huge users demands) in order to attract and compete for custom. In many respects Internet network provision is such an intangible commodity that the map is powerful in making it seem more ‹real.› The maps generally show a generalized and simplified view of the network, usually in a bright, colorful and visually


effecting manner. Most often the maps are drawn on a template of real world geography and have many design commonalties with the airline route maps in the back of in-flight magazines. While these maps do provide a selective picture, a reflection of what the company wants to emphasize, they also allow academic researchers and market researchers to chart the range and make-up of each companies network, to document different kinds of provision at a range of scales, and importantly to note how this has changed over time. This can be illustrated in reference to an analysis of UUNet's infrastructure (formerly part of Worldcom). Infamously, it was claimed in the late 1990s that the UUNET network was growing at rate of 1000 per cent per year. A longitudinal study of their marketing maps at a variety of scales allowed researchers to see the company’s strategy for delivering infrastructure services and to project the likely consequences this strategy on issues such as the digital divide, urban-regional restructuring, local and regional economic development, and so on). In fact, the 1000 % growth figure was apocryphal[9] and was an element in

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