cables This is how your Internet flows: telecom market research firm TeleGeography released a map of the underwater cables that connect the global Internet.

The lines note the land-based launch points for 232 in-service and 12 planned below-sea cable systems, which criss-cross underwater like “a big mess of spaghetti,” according to TeleGeography research director Alan Mauldin in Slate. For simplicity’s sake, the map does not show the actual oceanic routes of the cables or the amount of data traveling between continents, but there’s a whole bunch of information to glean from the piece.

Firmly established hubs in metropolises such as New York, Amsterdam, Tokyo and Mumbai are no surprise, but interestingly enough, there have been no new cables across the Atlantic since 2003, Slate reported. Most of the cable growth is occurring in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East; a major launching point is Djibouti, which is surrounded by thriving business in Somalia, Yemen and Eritrea.

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The map data comes from the private companies that operate the cables. Inset graphics break down cable landing stations in key regions, including New York and New Jersey, Egypt, Cornwall, Hong Kong and Singapore. The 12 pending systems included in the map are scheduled to launch by 2014.

Also, because we’re shallow, we have to mention that the vintage-style map is stunning; designers Markus Krisetya and Larry Lairson were inspired by old maps and star charts, especially those in Maury’s New Complete Geography (Revised Edition) published in 1921 and The Timechart History of the World.

You can check out the interactive map here or purchase a 36″ x 50″print copy for $250.

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