September 15, 2004

A truly useful map In recent posts we've seen a Map of Springfield, an Electoral Vote Map and an even more specific, weighted Electoral Vote Cartogram. But nothing compares to the beauty and bold colors of this map noting the geographical originations of spam. Almost, yet not quite as stunning as the satellite photo of earth's artificial lights at night. Fantastic.

I owe the MoFi community an apology for my post yesterday. It was truly in poor taste and I committed the cardinal sin: I didn't search the archives to see if it had been posted before. A thousand pardons.

  • Who's the lonely spammer in Calgary?
  • I expected Nigeria to be less black.
  • *shoots self in head*
  • Looks like the great firewall of china needs to be turned bi-directional.
  • oooo!!!! sparkly!!!
  • Stunning maps! I showed my boss the lights at night, and she made me forward it to her. p.s. - I forgive you ;o)
  • Looks like there's an awful lot of spam coming from or through North Korea, and as far as I know, North Korea's technology infrastructure isn't exactly attuned to the import or export of vast quantities of un-reviewed email. Is that right, or does the "volume" make the red region simply keep growing? If the volume makes the red region larger, perhaps using more colors to indicate scale would be better than just more space. Also, this map reminds me of this:
    "Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta. . ." - Neuromancer, William Gibson
  • It's been noted before, but it still boggles my mind: note the cutoff in light going from South to North Korea. (I know, I know, more lies from the evil Americans.)
  • Yes, the North Korea stuff would seem to be an error. There is evidence to indicate that North Korean intelligence is listening to the internet, but I don't know of any publically accessible internet servers physically located in the DPRK. All the government webservers are in Japan.
  • Thanks for the link anyways Mostly, got some brownie points with my computer security and forensics professor in class when I brought it upon the over head for all the college kids to see.
  • I was thinking: maybe the DPRK stuff is 'spill over' from the ROK spam hotspot. There's that little black bit at the bottom of ROK, but that might just be an error of some kind. The size of the hotspots do seem to matter (Calgary is big, but it isn't that big), and South Korea is a pretty confined space.
  • /on As a professional cartographer and user of GIS (yes, I know how to lie with maps) I have some reservations about the spam map. It looks cool, but where's the data? to paraphrase the old saying. I took a look at the downloadable data provided by Postini. First, the Lat/Long coordinates are partial and only good enough to get you into the very broad general area. So that means the DPRK spam is mostly likely ROK spam as was noted above. Second, all in all, it's very crude map that I have to assume represents *ONLY* spam received by Postini since they neglected to state otherwise. And thirdly, I think the representation of the intensity is suspect. The software package (CAIDA) (which I have not seen before) seems to using a proportional scale to represent intensity of spam and this can be very, very misleading if seen by an unsuspecting viewer.
  • Yeah, just seems to me that the confusion over the geographical display would be better shown by increasing the number of colors used in the scale rather than by making it look like Southern Germany, Western Austria, and the like are all in cahoots with spammers. Quite a good idea, but I think it loses some impact by allowing people to say things like "What? I'm sure I don't get spam from Kim Jong-Il."
  • Quite a good idea, but I think it loses some impact by allowing people to say things like "What? I'm sure I don't get spam from Kim Jong-Il." That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw that!;)
  • I guess everybody's spam is different, but I don't recall ever getting any from Edmonton.. a hotbed according to the map
  • The little yellow dot on the south coast of England would seem to confirm that Brighton's wifi-enabled beach is indeed a force for evil in the world, and that we must bomb them. Or that Kim Jong-Il lives there.
  • Brighton has a wifi beach? Wow, that place has come a long way since 1820.
  • Also - is that splotch near Edmonton? I thought it looked more like near Calgary.
  • I seem to recall that Dubya's first draft originally had Brighton in his "axis of evil." But if Kim Jong-Il lives there, he'd find an excuse to invade Folkestone instead.
  • quidnunc: love it! According to their logs (huge text file) it's Calgary: 51.08 -114.08 CA CALGARY ALBERTA (province) ARIN ev_dictatk 0 I was surprised to see all the action in Alberta... but is this really measuring "sources" or just stolen resources that could have been accessed from anywhere?
  • Map of Hell