Emile Aben

Distribution of RIPE Atlas Probes

Emile Aben
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As the RIPE Atlas network continues to grow, it's useful for ambassadors and potential probes hosts to easily see where we already have probes deployed and where we'd like more probes installed. We created a few useful maps to help with this.

As the RIPE Atlas project is now focused on distributing probes to areas where we currently don't have many probes already installed, I thought it would be interesting to see how RIPE Atlas probe distribution compares to human population distribution. To try to gain some insight into this, I used CartoDB to create the visualisation below. It shows urban population areas in blue ( data from Natural Earth ) with the RIPE Atlas probe distribution density as a yellow to red overlay. So areas that show urban population markers without any colour overlay are those without any RIPE Atlas probes (yet!). If you know people in these areas, or live there yourself, you can make a difference by applying to host a probe !

You can zoom in/out on the interactive map below. You can also set it to full screen by clicking on the button below the zoom buttons. You can also find this map at CartoDB here .

RIPE Atlas probe density versus urban population areas As you can see from this map, RIPE Atlas probe distribution follows population distribution quite well in some areas, especially in Europe, and not so well in others. What the map doesn't take into account is network diversity, i.e. how many different networks we cover in a specific location.

Another way to visualise the same data is using so called hexagon maps (credits to Martin Levy for pointing this out), as in the example below. The hexagons are colored yellow to red based on the number of RIPE Atlas probes that are in that specific hexagonal area. If you zoom in, the hexagons will cover a smaller geographic area, which allows you to see what the distribution of RIPE Atlas probes is with more granularity. This map is also available at CartoDB here .

RIPE Atlas probe density hexagons versus urban population areas Note that the maps are both snapshots of the situation as of 13 December 2014, and both show connected and disconnected probes. For future versions I plan to make both this view and a connected-probes-only view available.

Please let us know if you want to see more visualisations like this, and/or create them yourself by cloning these prototypes on CartoDB.

We're also hosting a RIPE Atlas hackathon in March 2015 to create even more visualisations based on RIPE Atlas data. Join us, and help spread the word!

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About the author

Emile Aben Based in Amsterdam, NL

I'm a system architect/research coordinator at the RIPE NCC, where I work in the science group. I'm a chemist by training, but have been working since 1998 on Internet related things, as a sysadmin, security consultant, web developer and researcher. I am interested in technology changes (like IPv6 deployment), Internet measurement, data analysis, data visualisation, sustainability and security. I'd like to bring research and operations closer together, ie. do research that is operationally relevant. When I'm not working I like to make music (electric guitar, bass and drums), do sports (swimming, (inline) skating, bouldering, soccer), and try to be a good parent.

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