The Internet Moon

Questions & Answers


What is this thing?

The Internet Moon grants you a unique kind of exclusivity. Once you get a space, you can own it for eternity (conditions apply) to display ads or share messages with world-wide publicity. You can even rent or resell your space.

Exclusivity is our business. The Internet Moon special is the very first pixel ad website that uses a stereo 3D sphere. It's extremely relevant for Internet history. It was created to celebrate evolution of the web with arrival of WebGL, which is now available to millions of Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari and IE users.

Why is it relevant in the Internet history?

This is the very first pixel advertisement website showing ads on a truly spherical surface, written in WebGL. While this is enough to become unique, we also have some distinguishing features, such as being the first to have stereo view (with 3D glasses) and to run a market for selling and buying spaces.

Of course, like most interesting things, some elements are not entirely new. Here's a bit of history:

  • The first pixel advertising website is The Million Dollar Homepage. It's from 2005 and shows 10 thousand ads in a flat (2D) 1000x1000 image. It's written in HTML with some JavaScript. That's a very distinguished website!
  • The first website that shows ads on spheres is Spheres of The Web. It's from 2009 and is written in Shockwave Flash. It lacks interactivity and contains more than one sphere, so there is less "exclusivity" appeal. However it's a good engineering work for the technology of 2009.
  • The first website that uses WebGL to display ads on a sphere-like surface is the Famous Ball, from 2011, and it's quite interactive. However, that object is not an actual sphere. Instead, it's a set of 2D panes surrounding an invisible sphere. There are voids on the poles and between panes, and even intersections between panes near the poles. Hence it does not follow the proper definition of a spherical surface, which is round and continuous. But it stands as a simple and alternate design, and deserves a place in history.

That's what we found from our research. If you know something else, please let us know so we can make justice.

What can I do with this thing?

You can rotate and zoom in and out the moon with your mouse. You can enable or disable stereo 3D view. You can click at surface icons to see what people are posting. You can make it rotate an hit F11 to use as a screen saver.

And of course, you can obtain areas in the surface to publish a message, picture, video or a link to your website. You can even resell your spaces to other people.

How can I place some content on The Internet Moon?

You need first to get a place at The Internet Moon before it runs out of them! Some spaces are free, delivered to first-come users. After that, you'll have to purchase spaces.

Once you got your space, you can set the icon that appears in the surface, as well as defining a message, picture, video or other stuff that will appear when the user clicks on your space.

Does the areas correspond to actual places in the Moon?

No! This is The Internet Moon, not the Earth's Moon! The spaces are entirely virtual and does not correspond to any physical location. Let's keep the actual Moon as a free park, accessible to everybody! And if you take your dog to the moon, please carry poop bags!

When can I change the content of my spaces?

You can change content of any space you have acquired any time you want, as long as you have a reasonable powerful WebGL-compatible device and a good Internet connection.

How long can I stay with the spaces I get?

You can stay with your spaces forever, as long as you follow our terms of service. Noteworthy, you may not put certain kinds of content, such as link to malware, hate speech or things unsuitable for children. And although we put the best wishes and struggles to keep this thing running forever, we have no means to be protected against certain disasters.

We believe that while the world is safe and people are free, this site will live on. We hope you join us in our wishes!

Is there a monthly or annual fee?

No. We only charge when you buy a space from us, or when someone else buys your space from you. Of course, you can sell for the price you want, or not sell at all, which means you'll never be charged.

How can my friends and customers find my place among so many others?

You can send other people a link that will automatically highlight your space and position the camara just over it. Just click on your content and look for [Share].

Can I sell my spaces to other people or companies?

Yes, of course. You can set the price you want, starting from a minimum.

Just beware that the buyer will have to register and pay in our website, then we will transfer the money to your Paypal account, and also transfer the space to the buyer's account. We charge a small comission in order to cover transaction costs. This way you don't need to use a fake email account.

And of course, you can announce your space in other places such as Craigslist, subject to our terms of service.

Can I rent my spaces?

Rent is not officially supported, but you are free to place ads and messages for other people or companies, subject to our terms of service. You will be held responsible for any content that is published in your space, and we will contact you if we need to inform about imnportant things. So don't give your email to other people!

Why are the North and South poles more expensive?

Because the price is a function of value, and people tend to visit the North and South poles more often!

Math & Tech

How many spaces there are in The Internet Moon's surface?

Exactly 10,000 (ten thousand), just like The Million Dollar Homepage.

How is the surface divided?

We use a variant of the Mercator Projection. There are latitude lines, including an equator that separates The Internet Moon in two hemispheres, each with 5,000 spaces. Each hemisphere has 44 segments, which are horizontal bands delimited by two latitudes. Then each segment is further divided into square-like spaces. The longitudes are meaningless.

Spaces near the equator have shapes very similar to squares. As we go towards a pole, spaces gradually become more like trapezoids. In the North and South poles, the spaces are triangle-like.

What is the radius, area, etc of The Internet Moon?

At full zoom, the moon contains about 534,037,588 pixels of area, which, according to the area equation (4πr2), gives about 6519 pixels of radius.

Since there are 10,000 spaces, each space has about 53400 pixels.

What is better? PI or TAU?

(if you are new in this discussion, read this and this)

The source code of The Internet Moon uses TAU in about 55 places, and PI in about 25 places. Clearly, TAU is more concise and elegant than PI. However, why was PI used so often?

  • Since we use the Mercator Projection, every longitude line has PI as the length.
  • Whenever the moon is rendered, only half of it is presented (we never see the dark side of the moon). This makes PI useful for a few calculations (the range of arcsin and arccos functions has PI as the length, for instance).

Why do you render with a Mercator Projection instead of a Cubemap?

Before considering 3D rendering, we used the Mercator Projection to divide the surface in lots. That's the most intuitive way for people identifying regions of a sphere. We tend to view spheres as planets, with a north and south poles and an equator.

That said, we actually tried to render with a Cubemap. However since Cubemap division does not match with a Mercator Projection, some areas of sphere became distorted, with pixels twisted relative to the mercator division. The solution was to render the entire sphere using the Marcator Projection as well.

How did you fix the problem of distortion at poles, which is typical of Mercator Projection?

The poles use higher resolution textures than regions near the equator.

Why this site doesn't work on my phone/tablet/computer/browser?

Because your phone/tablet/computer/browser does not support WebGL, or it doesn't have enough memory. We recommend that you use the latest Chrome, Opera, Firefox or Internet Explorer version, on a x86-based computer running either Mac, Linux or Windows.

The ammount of required memory varies according to the plaform. On low-resolution video modes, The Internet Moon can work with 128mb of GPU memory. This memory doesn't need to be dedicated to the graphics card. It can well be a chunk of shared RAM. On high-resolution video modes, such as Full-HD, The Internet Moon requires at least 384mb of graphics memory, but we recommend 512mb in order to allow good multitasking.

If you are unable to see The Internet Moon, please click here for more information.