First Detailed Public Map of the U.S. Internet Infrastructure Released



/ 3 years ago

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The location of major cables has always been a secret, but now researchers hope that the knowledge of it will spark thoughts on how to keep it safe.

The Internet is a major part of people’s lives, in a forever changing world. It’s hard to think of as a whole entity yet it is possible to map the entire thing. Computer scientists at the University of Wisconsin have proved so by releasing the first map of the infrastructure that supports the heart of the US internet. It took Paul Barford and his colleagues four years to produce the map.

Barford told Smithsonianmag:

“The map shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. The exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Level 3, have not been previously publicly viewable, despite the fact that they are effectively critical public infrastructure”

There may well be other maps in existence, yet none are in the public domain. Many attempts in the past have been deemed as illegal and a security risk. However, the map has been allowed because homeland security has made the map, the data being available to the public via a project dubbed as “Predict”
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This is the map, the black lines are the cables. Red boxes represent where they connect to each other.

Thank you to smithsonianmag for providing us with this information. 

Pictures courtesy of virtuallyfromscratch 

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