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Visualize and 3D print DNA of your website through Majestic Landscapes

It might not be something that you think about when checking Reddit, Facebook and sports results in the morning, but each and every website you visit has a unique profile or DNA sequence

Specifically, this DNA is determined by links to your website by other sites, and the links to those sites and so on: a giant spider web of links that together shapes the internet. The position of your own site in that web, and the number of threads attaching to it is essentially a unique data set that determines what your website is and how successful it is.

Of course, many site owners don’t do anything with all that data, but it can be used to your commercial advantage, and better understanding of what your website means in the greater internet can be used to your advantage. But dry data can also be beautiful and to capture that beauty Majestic, a British company specialising in analysing internet data, have developed a free program that creates 3D printable shapes of that DNA. "We use the Internet so much, we miss the mathematical beauty within. We decided to capture that DNA and bring it into the real world," Dixon Jones from Majestic says.

Called Majestic Landscapes, this program captures both the level of activity and the quality of your website’s activity in a hilly landscape form. To get a better idea of the process, you can see a 3D representation of Google below. While looking good, this means that it isn’t just some random shape based on numbers. "A website does not exist until you look at it… and then it can exist in many places at once. Who said link Heisenberg’s uncertainty principal was hard to visualize? Turns out it’s not only possible, but really quite beautiful,’ Dixon writes, and we agree.

A visual representation of Google's Link DNA.

But perhaps more impressive than its appearance, is the concept behind the link profile data it represents. "Every link profile is made up of thousands – or in Google’s case billions of links. Each link has its own Trust Flow and Citation Flow," Dixon explains. These two flow patterns form the cornerstone of the Flow Metrics approach that Majestic uses to analyse the potency of a website.

While a very complicated system, Flow Metrics essentially works like this. Citation Flow measures the amount of websites that link to your URL. While citations are great, your position in the web is also determined by the quality of the websites that you link up with, as you’re better off forming links to other human sites that also put effort into their content, rather than robot sites that simply cite you to generate ad revenue. This is where the Trust Flow comes in, which distinguishes the amount of trustworthy websites yours links up to.

The algorithm behind Flow Metrics denotes a Trust and Citation value between 0 and 100 to every link to your website, generating a cool 101 x 101 graph. Links with high Citation Flow end up more to the right, while links with more Trust Flow end up higher on the chart. In short, the more links that score a top-right result, the better your website is positioned on the web.

As you can see in the example here, the BBC website scores significantly better than the XL Pharmacy website.

"Of course, many sites can have the same values, so we previously represented this by darkness of colour. Now with the advent of 3D printers, we can take a link profile off the screen and into the real world." The program they built for this therefore instead represents these link results in a hilly landscape. Of course, every website has a few useless links, which represents the peaks in the landscapes. "Others are strong, which are seen in the foothills," Dixon writes.

And once you’ve generated unique 3D representations of your website, the next step would obviously be 3D printing it. Fortunately, they have incorporated that option. "They do take a while to print, so they are a little too exclusive to print for everyone, so we are giving away the 3D software that we have built to make these to anyone that signs up to our Majestic Insights." Dixon writes. "Majestic Insights is an occasional mailing which we only content when we have a something genuinely new to share – a thought leadership insight or new data never seen before." So if you’d like to 3D print a visual landscape representation of your website, simply use this free tool to generate the landscape and you will be provided with a 3D printable file. In return, Majestic would love it if you sent them a picture of the result.

Brendan Dawes' website

This artistic approach to internet data has been realised through a collaboration with Brendan Dawes, a UK-based designer who likes to play around with new forms of media and combinations of digital and analog data. As a result, he has quite a lot of experience with 3D printed art. Just last month, he worked on a very cool 3D printing project called Doris Le Bot, which focused on 3D printing unique digital creatures based on real-time tweets and properties of Twitter users’ profiles.

As Dawes explained in a recent interview with Forbes, the decision to shape the website DNA as a landscape was an easy one. "That’s how I always envisaged them once I saw the 2D graph versions. It struck me that if you projected them into 3D they would resemble mountain ranges and the like. […] It’s just that in this case the data makes up, or sculpts the scenery revealing a different personality for each web domain." He says. "You can see that my own humble site is tiny in comparison to the behemoth of Wikipedia, yet I do have a nice peak to call my own. Yeah sure it’s more niche and less wide ranging of an audience than Wikipedia (hence the peak) but it’s my peak!"

3D printed on a Makerbot replicator 2.

And that is exactly the beauty behind these 3D printed landscapes. While working with and improving the link DNA of your website is definitely a worthwhile endeavour for many companies, Majestic Landscapes enables you to touch and feel your accomplishments and be proud of them. It's a souvenir of how far you’ve come with your website, and all the places you’ve been. And 3D printing is clearly the perfect technology to give you that unique and personal souvenir.

Visualize and 3D print DNA of your website through Majestic Landscapes


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