The Networked Planet: Traveling the Information Highway

Against a backdrop of the explosive growth of the Internet, this exhibit addressed the history, technology, and applications of the growing computer network infrastructure using over 60 computers, high-speed access to the Internet, and Web access. Eight application areas linked by an active network highlighted various uses of computer networks. Each area consisted of a series of interactive stations where visitors tried out applications and learned about the technology and its societal effects. An interactive live air traffic control display showed the locations of airplanes in the greater Boston area; a terminal showed a real-time view of stock exchange transactions; and several internet stations (not commonly found in public spaces at that time) showed a revolving selection of diverse web sites.

Information About The Exhibit

Opening: November 12, 1994

Square Footage: 4,000 sq.ft.

Cost: $1.5 Million

Sponsors: Sprint, National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, Apple Computer, Hewlett-Packard, Novell, Inc., NYNEX Corporation, Stratus Computer, S.W.I.F.T., Banyan Sysems, Chipcome Corporation, Cisco Systems, Fannie Cox Foundation, Harvard Community Health Plan Foundation, Morgridge Family Foundation, Pisces Productions, Paul and Kathleen Severino, Sun Microsystems, Thomson Financial Serviceds, Wellfleet Communications

In-Kind Sponsors:


Contributors: Institutions and individuals who contributed to the exhibit


Grants: The Fannie Cox Foundation, Secretary James Kerasiotes, Novell Inc., Paul and Kathleen Severino, Wellfleet Communications, Inc.






Companies Building Interactives:

Exhibit Advisors: Robert Baum, Paul Edwards, Diane Forsythe, Thomas Hughes, Robert Kling, John Ladd, Lee Sproull Edward Belove, Gardner Henrie, David Mahoney, James McKenney, David Nelson, Howard Salwen, Paul Severine

Museum Overview of Exhibit Autumn 1991

The Computer Museum News Autumn 1993

The Computer Museum News Summer 1994

TCM Annual Report FY95

The Computer Museum News Spring 1995

Introduction film that introduced visitors to the basics of computer networks.

Network Visitor Tracking: Log-in to exhibits network using personalized "Smart Cards" and "Network Guides". Who's Out There, Interactive map of Networked Planet exhibit

Applications Areas

The Telephone Control Center: Highlighted telecommunications infrastructure - Beyond Dial Tone, A Computer Animated Ride Down a Phone Line

Networks in Retail and Finance: Live ILX feed which allowed visitors to view stock exchange transactions; Global Speculator which gave visitors a view into global banking; Interactive ATM machine; Interactive clothing store which showed how one purchase activated a chain of computer networks.

Large Scale Distributed Networks: Link to FAA Air Traffic Control

Networks at Work and at Home: Doctor's Conference, Collaborative Dubbing, Healthy Computing

Privacy exhibit

World Wide Connections: Internet Sampler, Letter to the White House, Networked VR, Online Systems, Video Conferencing

Resource area and Network Guide Hub.

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Updated: February 2015