A while ago I reported on a collection of historic maps of undersea cables. In today’s post I’d like to highlight an interactive and up-to-date version of such a map:
For every undersea cable, Greg’s Cable Map by Greg Mahlknecht shows characteristics such as a list of landings of said cable, bandwith, length, construction date and accuracy of the geographic representation (some cables’ locations are known accurately from GPS measurements, some are merely schematic and only topologically correct). If one wishes, the map also shows prospective undersea cables.
It’s interesting to have such a clear, summarising visualisation and to explore the patterns. For example, while Africa looks as if it had been connected to undersea cables by ancient European explorers (stepwise in counterclockwise direction around the Cap of Good Hope towards the Indian Ocean; the ancient European approach to travelling to India), South America’s cable connection features a shortcut across land surface.
It would also be interesting to have the same data displayed on a globe and further explore the layout of the world’s wiring scheme, without the distortions introduced by a two-dimensional map. Thankfully, Greg lets you do just that by downloading the KML file (or the raw data) he offers on the website. Great!