ARPANET in September 1971

The ARPANET is the precursor to the Internet. It was a project funded by the US Government's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), now known as DARPA (the D stands for Defense), to create a distributed communications system to facilitate the sharing of resources.

In celebration of the rich history of the ARPANET and the fact that, without it, 10stripe and the Web in general would not exist, 10stripe has begun compiling a series of maps to show the growth of the ARPANET. This is the fourth in our series of ARPANET maps, showing the network as it appeared in September 1971. Nodes on the network (IMPs) are shown as circles, and the links between them are shown as straight lines. We have added large circles to indicate areas with dense clusters of nodes. This is the first of our maps where Terminal IMPs (TIPs) make an appearance. Normal IMPs worked much like modern routers; TIPs provided this functionality, but could also act as a terminal server. TIPs are in red, while regular IMPs are in blue.

This map is based on the ARPANET Completion Report, a document prepared by the company Bolt Beranek and Newman, Inc., in 1978 for DARPA on the eve of the network's shutdown. BBN was instrumental in building and running the ARPANET. The report contains a history of the ARPANET, including maps of its growth through the years.

If you are interested in the history of the ARPANET and the Internet, you might consider buying Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet (referral link) by Katie Hafner and Matthew Lyon from Amazon and helping to keep 10stripe alive. It is a lively retelling of the events, built on interviews with people that were there. While it has its faults (the transition from ARPANET to Internet is greatly compressed), it is an engrossing read that does not shy away too much from the real technical issues involved.

Not a good size for you? View this map full screen (doesn't work in Internet Explorer; sorry).