I decided to try traceroute on different sites from NYU.
I tried it on several websites, but visualized these three sites:
I used traceroute on the terminal, got the IPs and then used IPlocation.net 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.
lasalle.edu.sg and dbegmore.com was routed through San Jose/Santa Clara and LA respectively.
mithru.com 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 dbegmore.com 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 mithru.com
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.