Traceroute from NYU

I decided to try traceroute on different sites from NYU.

I tried it on several websites, but visualized these three sites:

  1. (my personal site)
  2. (site of the college where I studied for undergrad in Singapore)
  3. (site of my high school in Chennai, India)

I used traceroute on the terminal, got the IPs and then used to get the Lat Lon coordinates. I plotted maps on google maps, and finally lasercut this map to physically represent the movement.

I centered the Pacific Ocean in the map so I could connect the cables directly.


I used three different colours of wires to represent each route.

IMG_20171002_172731 and was routed through San Jose/Santa Clara and LA respectively.

IMG_20171002_172750 was hosted in a Boston suburb and didn’t have to travel much. It bounced back and forth between Manhattan and Jersey, but in this physical representation I treated both as one node with multiple hops.


One thing that I found interesting was that was hosted in Singapore despite expecting most traffic from Chennai.

On a side note, when I sent pictures of this to my parents they were quite fascinated to learn that literal cables connected the internet (they expected satellites). The physical / literal representation of cables helped them visualize this better.

EDIT: I later tried traceroute from home to
The image below shows the difference in routes. From home, the route goes via LA and back, whereas from NYU the route takes a relatively more direct path, geographically speaking, before both routes converge at Cogent NYC and follows a similar path from there on.


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