Network mapping is the study of the physical connectivity of networks e.g. the Internet. Network mapping discovers the devices on the network and their connectivity. It is not to be confused with network discovery or network enumerating which discovers devices on the network and their characteristics such as (operating system, open ports, listening network services, etc.). The field of automated network mapping has taken on greater importance as networks become more dynamic and complex in nature.
Large-scale mapping project
Images of some of the first attempts at a large scale map of the internet were produced by the Internet Mapping Project and appeared in Wired magazine. The maps produced by this project were based on the layer 3 or IP level connectivity of the Internet (see OSI model), but there are different aspects of internet structure that have also been mapped.
More recent efforts to map the internet have been improved by more sophisticated methods, allowing them to