Have you ever considered the seemingly miraculous way that your emails, blog posts and websites cross the vastness of the world’s oceans in the blink of an eye ? It’s all due to a complex (and hugely expensive) network of submarine, fiber-optic cables that link the continents, transmitting ten terabits of data each and every second of the day through just a handful of impossibly thin strands.

The  Washington, D.C.-based telecommunications company, Telegeography, has produced a fun, interactive map for their website that is the result of research on global bandwidth. The map shows both active and planned submarine cable systems and their land-based stations. Telegeography used to publish a printed paper map like this and sell it for $250 a pop; now it’s free. The clever cartograhers at Telegeography create the maps with the assistance of the undersea cable owners and Google.

The very neat map is just a stylized representation, and the 188 cables on the map and their land stations lie in slightly different locations, but it’s still cool to play with. Clicking on a cable gives you more information, such as its name, who owns it, its length, and where exactly it makes landfall. Clicking on the land stations will provide information on the cables that terminate at the location.

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