The map above was first presented to me in one of my undergraduate classes on international information systems. I thought it was really interesting and had never seen such a precise version before. Years have passed since then and yesterday I happened to stumble across it at ToBeDetermined.org.
The purpose of the map is to show how quickly specific regions can be disconnected through natural or man-made disasters. However, just being able to graphically see how all the different regions of the world are connected to each other through underwater internet pipelines is quite impressive.
It is easy to surf the web, chat on Facebook and stream TV shows online without realizing that, without the existence of underwater cable systems, our close knit online community would be largely separated. The internet didn’t just magically appear one day after all!
We can also see the importance of the two major pipelines that connect Africa to the rest of the World. The cable connecting Spain and Portugal to South Africa is known as SAT2 and has been in use since 1993. The cable that connects India to East Africa is known as SAT3 and has only been in use in recent years.
These two connections have been invaluable in catching coastal parts of Africa up to speed with the rest of the world in terms of internet connectivity. In coming years these two internet pipelines will play major roles in connecting the heartland of Africa to the rest of the World.