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A Day on QuakeNet

Posted by meeb on Tuesday 16 November 2010

QuakeNet is the largest internet relay chat (IRC) Network in the world, this is an attempt to demonstrate the activity on the network (it looks much better full screen and in high def over on vimeo!).

A Day in QuakeNet from QuakeNet on Vimeo.

This is one day of activity, 24 hours, midnight to midnight in UTC, on the QuakeNet IRC network summarised into a 12 minute data visualisation.

Each dot represents a new user connecting to the network, there are some 400 new connections per minute on average in this visualisation. Users are linked by joining shared channels. When a new user joins a shared channel it is joined by a line with all other users in the channel already that have had activity within the last 5 minutes. In effect, this shows real time communications between the users of QuakeNet over a single day.

All data was collected strictly anonymously at a high level.

The data snapshots were collected via a network service that already stores connection data in memory, anonymous network data dumps (purely stating 'this user is new' information) were collected at a regular interval for a 24 hour period. These data blocks were then pre-processed using one off Python scripts into a usable cohesive time-line of connections, and the users resolved to their geographic locations.

The final visualisation was produced using processing over several hours (the original source is above 1080p) using an OpenGL renderer. The background map is a re-aligned and tweaked world map from the NASA blue marble project.

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