'Migration' is an image of the Internet and the part of the Internet we call The Web 1.
Each pixel represents two hundred and fifty-six IP addresses 2.
The top left corner of the image represents the two hundred and fifty-six lowest IP addresses (0.0.0.0 to 0.0.0.255) and the bottom right corner
represents the two hundred and fifty-six highest (255.255.255.0 to 255.255.255.255). The colored blobs represents IP addresses of computers that host a Website.
The size of the blob indicates the amount of Websites represented by the blob (more precisely by the pixel in the middle of the blob).
The smallest blobs represent one Website and the largest blobs represent two hundred and fifty-six Websites. The white pixels are areas of the Internet where there are no Websites.
The database of Websites was created by searching for Websites in the same sample of IP addresses three times, in 1999, 2001 and 2004 3. Crawlers (software robots, which could be thought of as automated Web browsers) were sent out on the Internet to determine whether there was a Web site at a specific numerical address. If a site existed, whether it was accessible to the public or not, the address was stored in the database.
There are two different interfaces. Interface #1 shows the Websites found in each of the three searches in different colors. Websites found in 1999 are represented by red, Websites found in 2001 by green and Websites found in 2004 by blue. Blobs of mixed color indicate that Websites were found in more than one of the searches. The large amount of clear red, green and blue colors indicates that the web has moved - migrated - substantially since 1999. Clicking on a blob reveals a list of the Websites represented by the blob. The sites marked with a '†' did no longer exist in 2004.
In Interface #2, only the Websites that existed in 2004 are represented as color blobs. The 'dead' Websites, Websites that existed only in 1999 and 2001, are represented with grey filled circles. The color of the blobs is a representation of when the webpage was created 4. The dates are mapped on a continuous scale from red for the oldest webpage to magenta for the youngest. The blobs get their color from the oldest of the webpages it represents. Many Websites do not give information about when the page was created; those pages are represented by black. Clicking on a blob reveals a list of the Websites represented by the blob that were found in 2004.
The patterns in the images reveal both the search process and information about the Internet and the Web. The even placement of blobs is the result of what IP addresses were selected for the search 5. The larger horizontal fields without blobs are areas of the Internet without Websites while the vertical areas without blobs are the result of a mistake made in the search strategy.
The sites you find with migration are not the typical Websites found through search engines. Since the Websites were collected using their numerical address, not their domain name or searching for content 6, you will find Websites that are not supposed to be found, Web-pages such as print monitors meant for internal use, directory listings and default Web-pages. Be aware and respectful of the fact that you might stumble on information and Websites that you are not supposed to find or use. Also, since there were no content-based considerations in the selection of the Websites included, there can be no insurance that the content you encounter is not offensive.
But most likely, by the time you use these interfaces to browse the Web, the Web has migrated once more, most links are outdated and the project is again obsolete.
Lisa Jevbratt 2005
Exhibited in 'Hypertemporality' at University of Richmond Museums, Virginia. 2005
1 The Web is defined as the collection of computers connected to the Internet that are running an http server software, I.e. Web servers.
2 An IP address is the numerical address of computers connected to the Internet.
3 This project is an update of the 'migration' interface in the project '1:1(2)' http://jevbratt.com/1_to_1/.
4 Or more precisely last modified. The data used for the color is the "last modified" data sent with the http response from the Website.
5 The way search engines find and index Websites.
6 Because of the huge number of IP addresses the search takes a long time, therefore only two percent of all possible IP addresses were searched each time.