What is Packet Garden?Packet Garden is an experimental artwork that seeks to provide an alternative and accessible approach to visualising daily internet use. It was commissioned by Arnolfini in 2006. See the homepage for a brief description of what it does.
Packet Garden captures information about how you use the internet and uses this stored information to grow a private world you can later explore. To do this, Packet Garden takes note of all the servers you visit, their geographical location and the kinds of data you access. Uploads make hills and downloads valleys, their location determined by numbers taken from internet address itself. The size of each hill or valley is based on how much data is sent or received. Plants are also grown for each protocol detected by the software; if you visit a website, an 'HTTP plant' is grown. If you share some files via eMule, a 'Peer to Peer plant' is grown, and so on.
I'm worried about privacy, does Packet Garden tell anyone else about what I do on my computer?Packet Garden only records a personal log for you to later explore in the form of a 3D garden. As looking at the source-code will confirm, this log doesn't leave your computer. If you're worried about others finding out where you've been on the Internet, don't show them the gardens you grow.
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