Since 2013, Intricately has been building and refining its Global Sensor Network. The network includes thousands of physical deployments spread across six continents and 100+ countries. These sensors help us map the digital world.

At the heart of the network are gateways, which we like to call “on-ramps” to the Internet. Gateways are operated by Internet Service Providers like Verizon, Comcast and AT&T and give your device the ability to send and receive information online.

Intricately monitors millions of Internet Gateways

Intricately’s sensor network monitors the flow of information through these gateways, keeping track of changes as they occur. 

This helps our customers visualize the relationship between content owners (companies like Netflix, Facebook or Pinterest), the delivery platforms they choose (providers like AWS, Akamai or Google Cloud) and the volume of traffic each delivery platform serves (total spend on a given product).

Mapping a company’s digital footprint

Let’s take Intricately, for example. When you type intricately.com into your browser window, many things are happening behind the scenes. First, our DNS provider, Amazon Route 53, connects you to our site by mapping the address you typed (intricately.com) to the IP address of our web server.

Next, our hosting provider, Heroku, makes sure our website is there when you visit it by storing all of its parts on servers connected to the Internet. If you happened to view an image or video while browsing, you interacted with our CDN provider, Amazon CloudFront.

Both hosting and CDN (as well as many other cloud-based services) rely heavily on data centers to store the information they deliver across millions of websites and applications. These centers can either be physical (if a company chooses to self-host its content) or cloud-based depending on the provider or the region.

By monitoring the digital presence of 3.4M+ companies from website to data center, our sensor network can answer questions like

  • Which companies use Amazon Web Services to host their online presence?
  • How much are these companies spending, and how has that changed over time?
  • Where are Facebook’s data centers located and who operates them?
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