The fat undersea internet cables

Ever wonder how information travels through the world? How a website you call from the other side of the earth gets to your screen? How the internet works?

Well, the answer to the latter question would involve a little bit more explanation, but taking a look at the following website gives you a broader understanding of the first two questions:

www.cablemap.info

This incredible javascript (not Flash!) by Greg maps out all the cables that are running under the sea to connect continents with each other to bring them the joy of world wide information. He states that “…[this is] an attempt to consolidate all the available information about the undersea communications infrastructure. The initial data was harvested from Wikipedia, and further information was gathered by simply googling and transcribing as much data as possible into a useful format, namely a rich geocoded format.

The biggest, fattest, fastest cable I found so far is Unity with a capacity of  7.68Tbps (that’s 7’680’000’000’000 bits per second, or 894 GB/s, in other words ~190 DVDs you have to carry and swim across the Pacific Ocean every second), though it seems according to this source it is not running at full capacity. Thank you Greg, thank you corporations, thank you to all the people who made it possible to send spam and pr0n at high speed across the entire world and let us view lolcats and stupid youtube videos wherever and whenever we please.

Another map of this kind, which also shows some oversea cables and satellites, is available at tatacommunications.com (this one uses Flash, but is less flashy).

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