How the mapping started

Mark Horton (mark@stargate.COM)
28 Sep 1990 18:05:19 EDT (Fri)

Maps are a very good point. The first maps from about 1981 had about 15 sites on them and were drawn in ASCII. (This for Usenet.) They grew until in 1983 or so they were too big for ASCII and they were drawn on paper. My ex-wife Karen and I did these early maps, got copies, and handed them out at Usenix conferences.

After awhile, Bill and Karen Shannon took this over (around 1984-5) and made multi-page ASCII maps of Usenet. After about 1985 the net was too big for this.

Recently Brian Reid has put out Postscript geographical maps of Usenet.

The earliest UUCP (email) maps were in people's heads - they would use the Usenet map to route mail. Every so often someone would post a message "I'm going to make a map, everybody send me your L.sys file" and 6 months later they would emerge from under the avalanche of responses and give up. If I recall correctly, both Lauren Weinstein and Steve Bellovin did this at one time.

The current map started when Scott Bradner and Rob Kolstad undertook the effort and stuck it out enough to finish the map. At that time they handed it over to our UUCP Project which was organized with 10 or so regional coordinators to maintain it and post it regularly.

The UUCP Project, which was founded by Karen Summers and I took over in 1986, ran from 1985 to 1988. It did the UUCP Map (Mel Pleasant supervised the regional coordinators), produced and distributed smail 2 (Chris Seiwald and Larry Auton were the authors) and did domain registrations for UUCP sites (myself and Tim Thompson).

In 1988, UUNET offered virtually free domain registrations, and we closed down the domain and software parts of the UUCP Project. Mel took on the mapping portion in conjunction with UUNET. He's still doing it today.


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