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Visualizing Traffic on the World Wide Web

, , , University of Crete, Greece

WEBNETJ Volume 1, Number 2, ISSN 1522-192X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


World Wide Web traffic increases at impressive rates reaching up to a several million hits (requests/clients) per day for busy Web servers. To serve all these clients effectively, it is necessary to have a good knowledge of their geographic distribution and access patterns. Understanding the geographic distribution of an organization's Web clients is essential in making important decisions that will reach the client base more effectively. For example, replication (mirroring), caching, language translation, and advertisement have been widely used to improve information dissemination. However, these methods will be productive, only if made at strategic places on the Web, places that are close to the client base. In this paper, we present the design and implementation of Palantir: a tool that animates World Wide Web traffic. The tool displays the geographic origin and magnitude of a Web server's hits either in real-time or in batch mode. It can synthesize the traffic to several Web server's so as to get a global view of the hits in a multi-site organization. Using Palantir, a user can get a deep understanding of where a server's clients are located, and thus, how to reach them more effectively.


Papathanasiou, A.E., Papadakakis, N. & Markatos, E.P. (1999). Visualizing Traffic on the World Wide Web. WebNet Journal: Internet Technologies, Applications & Issues, 1(2), 57-65. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved August 3, 2021 from .