TraceRoute from Coffee Shops

Blog post updated 10/05/2018.

The websites I most frequent are Youtube and Facebook. I decided to collect my data from the work spaces I frequent – coffee shops La Colombe, Starbucks, and The Bean. When typing traceroute into command line, it spits back a lot of information. I’m only interested in the IP address of each hop, so I referenced ITP alum Patrick Presto’s documentation and made the same modification to the command line to print only the IP addresses each hop:

After collecting my data, I looked up all the IP addresses on and converted them to JSON files. I later learned from Vidia that you can literally make csv files in a matter of seconds and I felt silly for spending so much time formatting and validating each JSON.

I then used p5.js to plot all the hops to better visualize the path. I later noticed that the results don’t really vary by changing my location since all the coffee shops I frequent are in close proximity to each other.

Facebook from La Colombe and Starbucks:

Time Warner (New York City) > Time Warner (Englewood, Colorado) > Cheney, Kansas > Facebook (Upper Peirce Reservoir, Singapore) > Facebook (Dublin, Ireland) > Cheney, Kansas > Facebook (Dublin, Ireland)

I was getting free wifi from Blink when I was at La Colombe and Starbucks’ free wifi. Both are on Time Warner so the hops went to the same places. It makes sense that Dublin and Singpore are on the map because FB has offices in both countries, but to be honest, I initially assumed it would be a more straightforward and domestic route from New York City and Menlo Park, California.

Facebook from The Bean

New York University (New York City) > Cheney, Kansas > Facebook (Dublin, Ireland)

This path was more straightforward as it bounced around the NYU network, made its way to Cheney, Kansas and Facebook’s Dublin office before appearing before my screen. I was wondering why I kept seeing Cheney Reservoir in my results, and thanks to Lucas’s investigation and explanation, it makes total sense.

Youtube from La Colombe & Starbucks:

Time Warner (New York City) > Time Warner (Cheney, Kansas) >Time Warner (Englewood, Colorado) > Time Warner (Cheney, Kansas) > Time Warner (Englewood, Colorado) > AS6453 TATA Communications (New York City) > Google LLC (Cheney, Kansas)

Again, both were on Time Warner so the paths are the same.

The Bean

New York University (New York City) > New York University (Cheney, Kansas) > AS6453 TATA COMMUNICATIONS (Jersey City, New Jersey) >AS6453 TATA COMMUNICATIONS (Cheney, Kansas) > AS15169 Google LLC (Herriman, Utah)

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