The history of the web, brought to life

A new exhibition charting the history of the internet and its impact on modern society has launched in the UK.

The Life Online gallery dedicated to exploring the social, technological and cultural impact of the internet and the web, launched at the National Media Museum in Bradford last week.

The permanent exhibition charts the four ages of the internet, starting with the creation of ARPANET, the world's first operational packet switching network and the forerunner of the internet by the Department of Defence in the late 1960s, and ending with exhibits exploring possible future uses for the net, such as the Internet of Things.

A section of the gallery is devoted to the history of the web, including the role of Tim Berners Lee, seen here, who in 1989 came up with the idea of linking documents using hypertext, sowing the seeds for the web's creation.

This portrait of Berners Lee, by visual artists Thomson and Craighead, is made out of streams from live webcams situated all over the world.

It is designed to reflect the importance of the web staying as an open platform where anyone can share information, as was Berners Lee's original vision.

Photo: National Media Museum/SSPL

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.