The Fascinating Story Behind Popular Country Internet Codes

The Fascinating Story Behind Popular Country Internet Codes

The internet is replete with millions of websites, many of which are (technically speaking) country-specific via their country code domains… but why is that?

Internet topography and rules can be a tricky matter to understand, what with confusing acronyms a plenty to wrap your head around. The Internet is global, and yet websites can (and often do) have country-specific country codes, or ccTLDs (Country Code Top-Level Domains). Ever wondered why — and which country has the most websites as a result?

You might be tempted to think that it would be the USA, given its status as having built out the frameworks for the modern internet.

But you’d be wrong.

What we need here is some kind of map. However, mapping the Internet is hard, not that this has stopped people from trying to map the again and again and again.

Way back when I was just a neophyte journalist, there were even actual printed books that claimed to be effective directories or maps of the Internet. Naturally, they were outdated well before they hit store shelves.

The nature of internet topography makes it impossible to completely map in every aspect, but what you can map – or at least try to map – specific subsections of the way the Internet is built.

This video from the always excellent Map Men draws up an entirely different kind of Internet map, looking at countries based on the number of websites attached to their top-level domains, or ccTLDs. It’s a fun little romp – honestly, even the sponsor video in the middle is better than the usual YouTuber approach to this kind of thing – and also one of the best explanations of TLDs, DNS and other Internet acronyms I’ve ever seen.

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