What is this Thing?

The map above shows (in red) the locations of servers that have tried to brute force my network, demonstrating conclusively that this modest site is beloved the world over. Entrance into this exclusive club can only be obtained by attempting to ssh into my network more than five times in a ten-second period. My personal best is once in a span of about a minute. Keep trying kids, you'll get there! The blue dots represent overly-aggressive web robots.

My firewall captures offending IP address and places them on a blocklist, which I periodically convert to geographic information using the excellent The JSON returned from that service looks like this:

      "ip": "",
      "city": "Hanoi",
      "region": "Thanh Pho Ha Noi",
      "country": "VN",
      "loc": "21.0333,105.8500",

I then draw dots on the map above using the loc fields for each server.

About the Map

The map is a Robinson projection of the globe, designed by Dr Arthur Robinson to produce an aesthetically pleasing representation.

"I decided to go about it backwards," Dr. Robinson said. "I started with a kind of artistic approach. I visualized the best-looking shapes and sizes. I worked with the variables until it got to the point where, if I changed one of them, it didn't get any better. Then I figured out the mathematical formula to produce that effect. Most mapmakers start with the mathematics."

[New York Times, 25 Oct 1988]

Robinson tabulated the lengths of each parallel and its distance to the equator in latitude increments of 5°, with the expectation that users would interpolate.

That's what I have done to plot the server locations above, using fourth-order polynomials fit with the least squares method to Robinson's tabulated values. To compute the length of a parallel given the latitude, use the following polynomial coefficients:

[7.8334e-09, -1.3434e-06, 5.0267e-06, -5.2218e-04, 1.0007]

The distance of that parallel from the equator is given by another polynomial with these coefficients:

[-4.1885e-09, 4.7268e-07, -1.8389e-05, 6.5366e-03, -5.7514e-04]

Lines of longitude are equally spaced along the parallels. For more implementation details, see the page source.