If Countries’ Web Domains Were Land Masses, Earth Would Look Like This

This is how big countries would look if they were mapped according to the number of country code domain names registered.
September 8, 2017, 11:00am

This article originally appeared on Motherboard

On this map, the world is definitely not as it seems. Why? Because countries have been scaled according to the number of country code domain names they have registered, and not by their geographical size.

The map was released by Nominet, a company responsible for the .uk internet infrastructure, to coincide with ICANN55, the 55th meeting of the world's domain name community.

In this world, key international players such as the US and Russia appear relatively small, while the tiny Pacific island of Tokelau (.tk) appears massive, racking up an impressive 31,311,498 country code domain names. Though Tokelau only has a population of 1,400, Nominet says, the country has more than 31 million .tk URLS owing to the ease with which domain names can be registered for free in the country.

The US only possesses 687,107 native .us domain names—possibly as .com addresses are more popular. Countries like Syria (.sy) and Somalia (.so) are hardly visible, while the vast continent of Africa appears tiny: only 15 percent of the one billion people living there have regular internet access. The UK, with 10,660,818, is the fourth-largest country in this alternative world after Tokelau, China, and Germany.

Overall, 'Online Europe' appears much larger than its geographical size, "because of the high internet rates adopted by countries across this region," said Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet.

This isn't the first time the map of the world has been reimagined using interesting data sets. Previously, researchers over at the Oxford Internet Institute, reconfigured what the world would look like based on which countries have the most people online, and then honing in on places with the least internet connectivity.