So in experimenting different ways to graph networks online, I came accross a neat exercise you can do with Gephi and the Http Plug.
Here are two examples of networks I mapped using this software. This ego-centric map shows the different servers that are connected to my ip address when I log onto the internet. In the first example I accessed my universities library website and logged into a proxy server, while the second example shows me accessing the universities website and then accessing the department for film and media studies (my department xD)
It is interesting to see how sites like Google analytics or wordpress float around in the background watching what we are up to.
HERE IS HOW TO DO THIS
- Go to this site, download Gephi for your operating system, and follow the steps to install.
- Once installed, open Gephi, select New Project.
- Select the tab Tools, and then select Plugins
- Go to Available Plugins, scroll down to HttpGraph, select it and press Install.
- Now go get Mozilla Firefox, if you don’t already have it ( you don’t have to use Mozilla, but I find it works the smoothest for this application.)
- Close all your programs and restart your browser and Gephi.
- When you open a New Project in Gephi this time, select File > Generate > HttpGraph
- Keep the port as the default 8088, and select Ok
- Start Firefox, go to Firefox > Options > Advanced > Connection > Settings
- Select Manual Proxy Configuration and enter in 127.0.0.1 into the proxy and 8088 into the listening port. Select Use this proxy server for all protocols and press Ok
- Now you can browse through the internet and watch as the graph is made in real-time with Gephi. You can also watch as it dynamically shifts around as the networks change.
- Lastly, don’t forget to change firefox’s proxy servers back to normal after you are finished to continue browsing.