[Post updated February 2017 with new maps and sources]
This week in ITGS we did a Networks refresher, covering topics such as LANs, IP addresses, DNS, ISPs, and the Internet backbone (this is chapter 4 in the textbook). The resources below show various parts of the Internet backbone graphically, letting you really see how information travels from your computer to web servers (and back) when you visit a web site.
Global Internet backbone maps
Mapping the world’s backbones is difficult because there are so many cables, owned by many different telecommunications companies. TeleGeography’s global backbone map and Greg’s cable map are both very good attempts though. The maps below are just images – click for interactive versions. Greg’s Cable Map also makes the raw data and KML available for you to download.
Telegeography also has a gallery of telecommunications maps with a variety of formats and data sets.
Regional backbone maps
If that isn’t enough, TeleGeography also have a range of regional maps, including submarine Internet cables and country statistics. Here is the map for Latin America. Again, click the image for an interactive version:
Maps of Europe and the Middle East
Telegeography’s wide range of maps includes Europe and the Middle East:
African Internet backbone maps
There has been a lot of Internet backbone development taking place in Africa recently. These maps from ManyPossibilities.net show the latest ACE cable laid off the coast of West Africa. This cable alone can carry over 5000 gigabits of data. Future backbone cables will have capacities measured in terabits. In fact, the proposed cable crossing the South Atlantic to Brazil will be capable of transferring 12.8 terabits!