It is difficult to create informative and appealing visualizations of large data sets, and computer networks represent some of the largest. Grand efforts at Internet visualization often look awesome (the original Opte Project image is in the MOMA), but they aren’t particularly effective when it comes to conveying information. On the other hand, low-level packet visualizers like TNV might be useful to engineers or security researchers, but they’re not exactly high art.
The Wireshark output of intern Joe’s packet sniffing project inspired me to make a network traffic visualizer that falls somewhere in between: informative, but not a pain to look at. The result is PacketPainter, a device that serves an interactive map of connections to and from a local network. Plug it into your router, connect to the web app, and see where your packets are going!