Another great visualization from Business Insider. Last time we could watch how religions spread across the world. This time the BI team show us the location of every Internet Cable around the world. The visualisation is based on an interactive map by TeleGeography – a telecom data research firm. The map has been released back in 2011 but it’s regularly updated.
Today there are 885000 kms of cables under seas and oceans around the world and the number is growing, as we store and create more and more data. It is estimated that 99% of all international data is transmitted via cables on the ocean floor. The cables are not thicker than 8cm and lay at depths of up to 8,000 metres. Most importantly without them we wouldn’t have the Internet.
The cables are installed by special boats called cable-layers. This business requires detailed maps of ocean floors as the cables must typically run across flat surfaces of the ocean floor. Cable also need to avoid coral reefs, sunken ships, fish beds, and other ecological habitats and general obstructions.